TOKYO, August 27- Argentina capitalized on Kenya’s errors to thrash the African Champions in straight sets (25-12, 25-17, 25-20) in the first round of the FIVB Volleyball Women’s World Cup at Japan’s Yoyogi National Stadium on Thursday.
The loss was Malkia Striker’s fifth successive defeat in the global showpiece to remain rooted at the bottom of the 12 team log alongside fellow African side, Algeria who both are yet to win a match.
With six games to go in the round robin tournament, head coach, David Lung’aho said his charges are already fatigued but are aiming to win atleast a single match.
“We played badly. We didn’t have good mental strength today because we were not prepared as expected. After five matches in Tokyo I think the players are fatigued. We want to win at least one match in Okayama,” Lung’aho, who guided the team to its first World Grand Prix Gold, declared.
Skipper, Brackcides Khadambi, said, “we will keep on fighting until we get a win.”
Argentina head coach Guillermo Orduna, who picked their second win to climb eighth hailed his players who dominated the offence on 35 spikes against 32.
“I’m happy we could win today. We were able to concentrate and play carefully today. We wanted to focus on our techniques, starting from our service.”
Kenya’s attacker Mercy Moim topped all scorers with 13 points while Sol Piccolo finished as the top Argentine scorer with 11.
Although both squads had similar statistics, the Argentines earned 29 points off the Kenyan errors, which made the difference in the match.
The South Americans jumped to an 8-0 lead in the opening set to mark the first technical timeout but the Malkia Strikers got a break off the Argentine service error to earn their first point in the match.
Argentina still led although Khadambi took matters into her own hands to get their offence going but Argentina finished the set 25-12 as they capitalised from their adversaries’ errors.
Kenya trailed throughout the second set, as they still struggled to break the momentum of the Argentine squad.
Although Kenya scored on some attack spurts, a service error from Triza Atuka ended the set in favour of Argentina 25-17.
The record-nine time continental champions, recovered from their setbacks in the first two sets but Argentina latter countered strong to take the set and match 25-20.
The tournament takes a two-day break to resume on Sunday where the African queens will be seeking to grab their first win when they take on second placed USA.