Iran’s national junior volleyball team continues its winning streak at the group stage of the FIVBVolleyball Men's U21 World Championship in Turkey with a spectacular victory over Japan.
In an exciting and competitive game at Baskent Volleyball Hall in Ankara on Sunday, the Iranian team defeated the Japanese side 3-0 (28-26, 29-27, 25-18) to stay on top of the pool ranking.
The Japanese reached the first set point at 24-22. However, Iran won the next three rallies and it was Seyyed Arash Taghavi who won the set for Iran at 28-26, sending the Iranian fans into raptures.
The two Asian teams resumed their fierce battle in the second set. Japan responded to Iran’s powerful attacks with a good digging and blocking performance. Eventually, however, Iranians overpowered their opponents 29-27.
The outcome of the first two sets inspired the Iranian squad to play with more vigor in the third set. The Iranians managed to exhibit an almost error-free performance, and finished the final set at 25-18.
“We are very happy for beating last year’s champions of Asia. They are a very good team with a good coach and good players. We knew that it was going to be a tough match. Japan is a fighting team. They never give up fighting. I want to thank all my players and our fans for their contribution to this victory. Every match in the World Championship is important. We are happy to take three wins in a row,” Iran’s coach Farhad Nafarzadeh said after the match.
Iran now stands on top of the ranking in Pool B of the FIVB Volleyball Men's U21 World Championship with 9 points. The Iranians will face their Mexican opponents on Monday in their last match of the first round.
The FIVB Men's U21 World Championship opened in Turkey on August 22, and will wind down on September 1.
The competition features a revised format having been expanded from 16 to 20 teams, made up of the hosts and 19 qualifiers, and will run over 10 days with two rest days.
The 20 teams are divided into four pools of five teams each and will play a round-robin tournament. The bottom-ranked team of each pool will play classification matches for 17th-20th places in a round-robin system.