Asian Games silver medalist Iran kept its unbeaten slate with a narrow 38-34 victory over a battling Japan in a Group 'B' match of the 2016 Kabaddi World Cup at the Arena by TransStadia on Saturday. It was Iran’s fourth win a row, an outcome that has confirmed its entry into the semifinals. Iran has 20 points from four games.
Iran led 19-9 at the break and it was in a commanding position at 26-9 three minutes into the second half. Thereafter, Japan showed a fierce determination, bridged the gap at 28-35 scoring 10 points in a row. Masayuki Shimokawa did the star turn scoring eight points, but in the end Iran held its nerves to scrape through.
In a Group 'A' league match India, spearheaded by Rahul Chaudhari and Ajay Thakur’s raiding skills, trounced Argentina 74-20. With three wins in four matches, the home team is placed second behind South Korea. Argentina has lost all four matches.
South Korea assured themselves of a semifinal berth also after comfortably beating Australia 63-25 in a Group 'A' contest. It was South Korea's fourth successive win in the tournament which it achieved without its star player Jang Kun Lee. Despite his absence, the Koreans put up a commendable show with Cheol Gyu Shin bagging 11 points and Dong Gyu Kim scoring 10 points.
South Korea is now top of Group A with 20 points from four games while Australia is fifth in and out of the race to the semifinals.
Results: Group 'A' : India bt Argentina 74-20, South Korea bt Australia 63-25; Group 'B': Iran bt Japan 38-34.