On July 29 in Tokyo, Serbia and Kenya will play a match of volleyball. The Serbian team won the first two games without sweeping, beating Japan (3-0 – 25:13, 26:24) and the Dominican Republic (3-0 – 25:12, 25:20). Meanwhile, African teams were defeated by Japan (0:-25:15,-11,-23), South Korea (-14-,22-, 24-) and China (-1-19-. It was their last meeting just in Japan at the 2019 World Cup. The girls from Balkan Peninsula won after three sets (3-0 – 25:17).
The Serbia women’s national basketball team seemed to be unstoppable, breezing through Dominican Republic and Japan. Though they were caught unaware against the hosts in their third game of the tournament, there are still positive aspects about this team that make them a threat for sure.
Serbia have won two matches with a dry score so far, while Kenya has only lost without scoring a goal. The Africans were given the opportunity to meet with two Asian teams – they lost first against Japan and then against South Korea. However, I cannot say that Kenyans looked hopeless while playing their games. They could clinch one set in each game both in the first and the second ones.
Serbia has been triumphant in all five head-to-head encounters with Africa. In the only case of a victory by African players (26:24) set difference was just one point higher than score that Mediterranean Continent’s team achieved. The last encounter occurred in 2002 and then Balkans belted everyone else out – 25-11, 25-13, 25-17). It is unlikely we should expect Kenyans to put up much of a fight now too.
Despite being the clear favourite in this competition, there are a number of reasons to believe that the total points may not be enough. The Afticans are well-prepared both physically and functionally but are lacking skill. It’s more likely they will put up a decent fight in at least one set which may just be enough (120.5).
This is the first game for the Kenyan team against a non-Asian country. In general, Kenyans are really tough and they’re skilled enough to win one of the sets. The last two games weren’t easy but had some luck or skill on their side. At the same time, Serbs know how to create problems for themselves and were just one ball away from losing against Japan in a recent game. That says a lot about them all together. Visiting players might be able to put up a fight and possibly win one of them too.