Tokyo, Japan – The Malkia Strikers national women’s volleyball team got their Olympic campaign off to a poor start, losing to hosts Japan on Sunday at the Ariake Arena in Tokyo.
JAPAN : TEAM REVIEW
They say there’s nothing worse than losing a third-place match. That means they had a good run in the tournament, but lost their final two matches and were left without a place. The Japanese looked really good in the 2021 Nations League group stage, winning 12 of their 15 matches. They were looking to win the bronze medal. But after an expected 1-3 defeat by Brazil in the semi-finals, Japan sensationally crashed out 0-3 against Turkey in the third-place match. It might be a psychological blow.
KENYA: TEAM OVERVIEW
There is a big difference between the Kenyan team that plays on the African continent and the one that plays in international tournaments. In Africa, Kenya are one of the strongest teams, and qualifying for the Olympics with 4 wins out of 4 selection matches confirms that. But at the 2019 World Cup, it was only thanks to the victory over Cameroon that the Kenyans didn’t end the tournament with zeros in the points and won sets – Kenya lost 0-3 to everyone else.
What were the predictions
At their home tournament, the Japanese look the clear favourite to face them. We wouldn’t be in a hurry to play with a minus handicap on the Japanese. Anyway Kenyans are playing at a really good level and they can take 48 points in three games. That will be enough to keep the plus side.
Our prediction is Asian handicap for Kenya (+27.5) points and we’ll bet on it with Winline for 1.76
Given our first bet, where we expect some resistance from the Kenyans, it is advisable to consider the total over. Provided the Kenyans hold a plus handicap, the bookmakers put the total on more. We think the Japanese are slightly overrated. This is largely due to the fact that they are playing at their home Olympics.
The outcome of the match
The African volleyball queens started the match well and battled with the hosts, ranked fifth in the world, but could not keep up the momentum, losing the first two sets 25-15 and 25-11.
However, they came alive in the third set and by the end of the first technical timeout they were 8-6 behind the hosts. They continued to press the Japanese and when it looked like they would turn the tide, the hosts used their experience to pull out a 25-23 victory.