QATAR put up a gritty show before bowing out of the FIVB World League.
After winning just one match in the Round 1 of qualifiers held in Barcelona, Spain, recently, Qatar came up with a much-improved performance in Round 2 in Tallinn, Estonia, where they notched two victories from three matches last week.
That included the marathon win against Venezuela.
But despite registering three wins from six matches, they could not progress to the third round as only four teams — Germany, Spain, Austria and Estonia — from 12 qualifiers made the cut.
Qatar finished seventh in the group, but they managed to end their campaign on a winning note.
In Round 2, they lost the opening encounter 16-25, 15-25, 20-25 to Estonia. But they quickly bounced back to defeat Greece 25-23, 25-21, 29-27 before beating Venezuela 27-29, 25-16, 45-43, 23-13.
Pape Maguette scored a match-high 18 points for Qatar.
“The key to the victory was the third set. We prepared well for this game and followed the things we discussed in team meeting. Tactically, we challenged Venezuela very well. Initially, they pushed us more with their serve and we struggled. But, we fought back,” said Qatar’s Italian coach Massimiliano Giaccardi.