Our service allowed us to pressure Brazil: Korea coach


Korea coach Stefano Lavarini celebrates the win over Brazil with captain Kim Yeon Koung

 Osaka, Japan, September 28, 2019 – Korea defeated Brazil 3-1 (25-23, 18-25, 25-20, 25-21) in the first match on the 10th day of the FIVB Women’s World Cup at Osaka’s Edion Arena on Saturday. 

Korea coach Stefano Lavarini: "Service is something that we believed was one of our main weapons and it was the element that made a big difference today. We know Brazil is one of the top teams and most balanced teams in the world and we had to try and make them receive badly for us to be competitive. In the second set, when we weren’t so effective in serving, we suffered from Brazil’s attacking quality. Even in the third set, when we were serving well, we had to face attacks at a really high level. We will take this match as something in which we can learn to help us be more confident and our qualities and keep improving."

On setter Lee Daeyeong: 
"My impression is that she is improving tactically, even though it’s hard for her to adapt from what she is used to do to what I am trying to get her to do. She is trying really hard to learn and change the characteristics of her setting. Today, she was really good in the first set. She lost focus in the second set but came back well. She had some ups and downs in her performance, but she fought really hard to recover some difficult balls during the match."

On the future of captain Kim Yeon Koung: 
"It’s something I’ve never talked about until now because maybe I’m hoping she will carry on for a long time. She still puts in great performances and is in good physical shape, so in that respect we can leave this problem to some time in the future. For a Korean, she is outstanding physically, so in that way she is hard to replace. I think that it won’t be such a big problem for Korea as they will be able to rely more on their group characteristics in the event that they don’t have such a charismatic player such as Kim."

Korea captain Kim Yeon Koung: "It was great to win against a strong team. I feel we are getting better day by day and improving. Today, we had a few problems but I am happy with the win. I think one of the keys today was our serve. We were able to serve better than Brazil, but we also had good plays at important moments in the match. It’s a long competition and we’ve had some difficult moments, but we will try to play even better tomorrow and have a good result. Being captain is a big responsibility. I have international experience so I try to use this to give some good advice to my teammates and to get them inspired in matches. But I’m also grateful to my teammates and all the staff who support us a lot as we do our best to try and get a ticket to the Olympic Games." 

Brazil coach Jose Roberto Guimaraes: "It was an excellent result for Korea, who had great defence and also served really well. For us it was the opposite. We didn’t serve well and couldn’t make blocks, and that allowed Korea to believe they could get a result. They played very well, as usual, because our serve was not efficient enough, so it was easier for them to play with their characteristic speed."

Brazil captain Fabiana Claudino: "It looks like we’re out of bronze-medal contention and that’s a shame. But congratulations to Korea for their win. They’re the kind of opponent who really fights to the end. Today, we could not put pressure on them as we wanted to and we struggled to play our Brazilian style of volleyball. We couldn’t get into a rhythm. I don’t really have an answer for this loss. Maybe we weren’t aggressive enough. I hope we can have a better game tomorrow and show that we also never give up."