Bangkok, Thailand, July 5, 2015 - Japan took the spoils in a 3-1 (25-22, 18-25, 28-26, 25-23) victory in Bangkok over Serbia as Sarina Koga leads the way for the Asian side with 23 points in Pool A of the preliminary group
Japan opened up an early 7-4 lead in their clash with Serbia in Pool A, however the European side were quick to level the tie at 8-8. Sarina Koga was leading from the front for Japan as they again established a three point gap at 12-9 before for the second time Serbia levelled at 17-17. As the set could go either way, it continued to be a close contest before Japan once again pulled away in the final stages to take the set 25-22 for a 1-0 lead.
Serbia were first out of the blocks in the second set, looking to take the game to Japan with Marta Drpa leading in points for the European side. Opening up a four point lead at 12-8, the European side were in fine form as they looked to level the tie. The lead gradually increased as the set wore on and the deficit was now up to six points for Japan and Serbia duly wrapped up the set 25-18 to level at 1-1.
The third set was a tight affair throughout with Koga and Drpa facing off as they led their teams in points scored. Serbia managed to break away as the set drew to a close and they opened up a six point lead at 23-17 with the set seemingly heading the European's way. However Japan re-focused and reduced the gap to take the set into sudden-death before Japan finished off the set to take it 28-26 for a 2-1 lead.
If Serbia wanted to take the game into a deciding set, they needed a fast start and they got into their stride quickly to open up a four point lead at 13-9. Once again, they allowed Japan to crawl themselves back into the set and the lead was narrowed before the Asian side took a 24-21 lead. Brief hope for Serbia was extinguished though as Japan wrapped up a 3-1 sets victory with a 25-23 fourth set win.
To see the match gallery, read the full match live commentary and post-match comments, visit thematch page