The national French men's volleyball team has beaten Iran in straight sets at the Men’s World Olympic Qualification Tournament, which is currently underway in Japan.
The Iranian volleyball squad lost to the 2015 Fédération Internationale de Volleyball (FIVB) World League title holder 20-25, 18-29, and 22-25 on Tuesday at the Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium in the Japanese capital to sustain its first loss in the tournament following a 3-2 (27-29, 19-25, 25-20, 25-21 and 16-14) win over Canada two days earlier.
Shahram Mahmoudi led Iran with 19 points, while Antonin Rouzier was the high-scorer for France with 18 points.
“We did not pass or receive well. France were better than us in all aspects of the game. They were better in service, reception and attacks. This is why the result was 3-0. Ghafour has some inflammation in his knee. We decided to rest him today and save him for tomorrow's match. He is fine,” Iran’s coach Raul Lozano said after the match.
“Over the last two years, we have played France many times and always lost. They are a strong team. Our side-out was the problem today. We have to forget about this match and think about our next matches,” Iran’s captain Mir Saeid Marouf commented.
“It was a good match for us today. It was difficult to come back strong after our loss to Poland. Rouzier played very well today as did our setter despite some back pain. We have not qualified for Rio yet, so we have to continue to play hard,” France coach Laurent Tillie commented.
In the other matches of the day, Canada recorded its first victory at the tournament with a 3-2 (25-19, 26-24, 25-20, 29-27, 15-11) win over Australia.
China breezed past Venezuela in a straight-set (25-16, 25-18, 25-15) encounter.
France is on the top of the standings with seven points, China is second with one point less, and the Islamic Republic of Iran sits in the third place with 5 points. All the top three teams have gained two victories and suffered one loss.
Iran men's national volleyball team is scheduled to take on Japan on Wednesday.
The Men’s World Olympic Qualification Tournament kicked off in Tokyo on May 28 and will run through June 5.