Hangzhou, Sep 24 (IANS): The Indian men's volleyball team's quest for a place in the semifinals was crushed by a dominant Japan as the multiple-time winners won their quarterfinal encounter 3-0 at the CXC Gymnasium here on Sunday.
India had won three matches in a row to reach the quarterfinal encounter with the mighty Japanese and were quite bullish about their chances. But their quest for an Asian Games medal will continue beyond the 37 years it has extended as Japan ended their hopes with a clinical performance.
The Indian team, which had stunned last edition's silver and bronze medallists South Korea and Chinese Taipei respectively in the preliminary league and the Cross Over match respectively, went down 16-25, 18-25, 17-25 in straight games in a match that lasted 71 minutes.
Japan did not allow the Indian team to play its usual game and dominated the net and attacked well. The Indians also committed many errors and gave away easy points.
In another quarterfinal match, Qatar defeated Pakistan 3-1 to set up a semifinal clash with two-time defending champion Iran. Japan will meet host China in the other semifinal on Monday.
Sunday's defeat set up an intriguing clash between neighbours India and Pakistan in the classification stage for the 5th to 8th places on Tuesday (Sept 26).