Hiroshima, Japan, October 15, 2019 - Japan edged a gripping final match at the 2019 FIVB Volleyball Men’s World Cup 3-2 (22-25, 25-20, 25-23, 23-25, 15-9) over Canada on Tuesday, spurred to victory by Kunihiro Shimizu, who notched 25 points at Hiroshima Green Arena.
Japan coach Yuichi Nakagaichi: “It’s all about (Yuji) Nishida’s service at the end - I think that says it all. He showed us something really tremendous at the end. Yesterday he couldn’t score when he should have, so I heard he was feeling very disappointed and I saw that in his attitude too. In his own way I think he gave us an answer (today). Together with (Yuki) Ishikawa, Nishida was able to win an award, and considering our achievement of finishing in fourth place I think we feel a sense of success from this competition. Of course we had challenges too.”
Japan captain Masahiro Yanagida: “Today against Canada we were able to win in the end, which is very good after a lot of things. In this competition we won eight and lost three, which gives us confidence, but we were still unable to win a medal so there remain some questions we have to ask of ourselves. Personally I was able to clarify my challenges, so in the upcoming season overseas I would like to make improvements so I am better next time I come back here. Then, finally, next year will be the Olympics, so I hope the team will be stronger.”
Canada coach Daniel Lewis: “Congratulations Japan. An incredible match once again for us. My guys played so well. We fought really, really hard. It was a difficult atmosphere at the beginning because the guys are so fatigued and they’re trying so hard to get the energy going. We had some really important substitutions to pick up the energy. At the end my inexperience showed and I should have called time-out, and I basically stole the game from my own players. So that’s difficult and I’m a little bit upset right now. We’re just going to have to go forward and we’re going to have to get better.”
Canada captain Nicholas Hoag: “It was a long match again. Congratulations to Japan, for their game and also for hosting such a great competition every four years - they do such a great job every four years. It was a pleasure to compete in this competition with my group. We didn’t play that well tonight, Japan played very well. We took a little too long to adjust to some small things, especially their tips, and we could have picked up a few more balls. And at the end (Yuji) Nishida came in and served really well, and the only one chance we had to side-out we didn’t. So, it could have gone both ways at the end of the set and it went Japan’s way, so congratulations to them.”