Thai women’s volleyball team, for the first time in history, beat Brazil in the 2017 World Grand Prix in three straight sets on Saturday (July 15).
The stunning victory boosted their confidence, before meeting Serbia on Sunday (July 16).
In a Group D match in Sendai, Japan, the Thai team, which had not clinched a victory in the previous three matches, took on Brazil, the 11-time champions.
Led by Pleumjit Thinkaow, Nussara Tomkham and Ajcharaporn Kongyot, the Thai team took the first set with the score of 25-22.
In the second set, the Thai team led 6-0 during an early stage, prompting Brazil to put up their aggression but they were not successful. Thailand won 25-21 in the second set.
Brazil looked better in the third set. The excitement was with the match point when Ajcharaporn hit the ball through the Brazilian block, and the referee called it off. Thailand decided to challenge. The slow motion footage showed a Brazilian player touched it out. Thailand took the third set to beat Brazil 3-0.
Ajcharaporn was the top scorer, with 18 points.
“I’m really happy to win today. It was such a tough match and we tried to avoid making simple mistakes. Our veteran players led us younger players really well, and I think that was great,” said Ajcharaporn.
It was Thailand’s first ever victory over this opposition in 13 World Grand Prix matches.
Thailand coach Danai Sriwacharamaytakul said the best thing about today was that the team played as planned, maximizing the particular skills of each player.
Brazil captain Natália Pereira lauded the Thai team.
“I want to say Thailand played wonderful volleyball today, and I want to congratulate them on their win. We tended to be a bit passive today, lacking in concentration at times. Their playing style is very different from us, and we didn’t adjust very well,” she said.
Brazil coach José Guimarães, meanwhile, said his team made many mistakes.
“We tried to serve aggressively, and not let them get into their style of volleyball. But we just couldn’t stop them, because their setter is really skilled,” he said.
The Thai team will meet world No. 3 Serbia tomorrow (July 16) at 2pm Thai time.