Malkia Strikers fall to Brazil in Japan

Wednesday March 18 2020
murambi_pix

Kenya's Noel Murambi attempts a dig during their FIVB World Cup match against Brazil at Hamamatsu Arena in Hamamatsu, Japan on September 18, 2019. PHOTO | FIVB

By DAVID KWALIMWA

Kenya's struggles at the 2019 FIVB Women World Cup in Japan continued with Wednesday's straight-sets defeat of 25-20, 25-17, 25-14 against Brazil in Hamamatsu.

Malkia Strikers found the going tough against the world's best-ranked side despite a strong start by captain Mercy Moim and Edith Wisa in the opening set.

Initially, Moim appeared to be finding joy with consistent attacks from the left which led to Kenya holding up an impressive 21-18 score against the South American side in the opening set.

But a tweak in formation by Brazilian coach Jose Guimares to deploy centre player Fabianha Claudinho worked to cut off Moim and hand the opponent a five-point victory in the opening set.

"We started well," Kenya's assistant coach Japheth Munala reflected after the match.

"They capitalized on our weaknesses in reception and we didn't have many combinations."

Kenyan then faded in set two and three, with Brazil duo Amanda Francisco and Ferraira Leao unstoppable however much Triza Atuka and Wisa attempted to block them off.

This is Kenya's fourth loss on the trot following earlier defeats to Netherlands, Serbia and USA. The team will resume return to the courts for another fixture against Argentina Thursday morning.