Mexico took the lead at the beginning of the first set, but Japan gradually caught up to level the score and prompt a dramatic point-for-point battle over the following several rallies. In the conclusive moments of the set, the emotional Mexicans edged out their opponents with more successful blocking efforts – 25-23.
The second set was also very tight. Good blocking and digging on both sides produced some long rallies to the spectators’ enjoyment. After several switches in the lead, a kill block by substitute player Tsubasa Hisahara well into overtime put an end to the set at 29-27.
Set No. three was relatively one-sided. Japan stepped up their blocking and offence to pile up a solid advantage and win it by 25-17.
Gaining more and more confidence, the Japanese rushed into the next set with an impressive 8-0 run on a successful serving streak by Kentaro Takahashi. Mexico’s efforts to fight back did not pay off and the team from Asia took the victory by 25-16 to end the match.
Irving Gonzalez tallied 17 points for Mexico to become the best scorer of the match. His teammate Roberto Rincon added 16 (4 blocks). Naoya Takano was most prolific for the winning team with 14 points, followed by Takuya Takahashi (12).
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