TEHRAN, Sep. 12 (MNA) – Although they were only a few inches away from win, Iran’s national volleyball team lost to Poland 2-3 (25-18, 25-23, 15-25, 20-25, 11-15) in the first round of the FIVB Volleyball Men’s World Cup at the Hamamatsu Arena on Saturday.
Iran and Poland national volleyball teams held a match today morning in Japan as part of FIVB Volleyball World Cup during which Iran failed to seize the valuable point of the match by losing 2-3.
Iran’s Amir Ghafour came up with 18 markers to lead all Iranian scorers. Bartosz Kurek top scored for Poland with 19 points, then Mateusz Mika and Michal Kubia, who had a game-changing performance in the fourth and fifth sets, finished with 14 and 12 points, respectively.
Poland opened the match with a 6-5 lead but Iran earned four straight points from Mir Saeid Marouf’s serves to gain a 9-6 edge. The Iranians continued to serve strong against the Polish defence to stretch their lead 16-10 at the second technical timeout.
Iranian hitter Mojtaba Mirzajanpour led the Iranians with five points in their first set win 25-18. In the second set, the Iranian defence braved the tough spikes of Kurek to implement great counter-attack plays that kept them in the lead 12-9. Poland got out of the juncture but Ghafour’s spikes got Iran going, while his rival Kurek began to miss from the attack and service lines. Iran pulled-off a 25-23 win in the second frame as Marouflakrani orchestrated magical plays for his team-mates to find the open court.
Poland grabbed an early lead in the third set as Kurek got involved on offence, then showed excellent team effort on defence. The European side succeeded with a 10-point cushion by the end of the third set 25-15. Poland took another great turn in the fourth set with Mika and Kubiak contributing immensely from the flanks that forced a tiebreaker 25-20. In the final set, Kubiak preserved his team’s confidence with his outstanding attacks and blocks. Finally, Poland nailed the two kills before Iran’s attack went out that sealed set and match 15-11.
“Today we tried everything to play good volleyball and I think we did. To go 2-0 against Poland in a major championship is not so easy. After two sets, we didn’t stop playing but Poland returned; they started receiving very good and started to serve hard. I was angry about the start of the fifth set. At 12-11 it could have been 11-11 and maybe the set would have finished differently,” said Iran coach Slobodan Kovac.
“It was a good match because both teams played very good volleyball. We started very well and thought we could win this match but in the end they played better than us. Poland are in great shape and it’s very difficult to play them. Today we fought and our players did a great job, so it’s a disappointment,” said Iran captain Mir Saeid Marouflakrani.