The national Iranian men's volleyball team has achieved a hard-fought win at the FIVB World League 2016, defeating the Argentine side.
On Saturday, the Iranian squad overcame Argentina 3-2 in a Pool B match at Carioca Arena 1 indoor stadium of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, which was a match marred by a high number of unforced errors.
Iran’s Argentine coach Raul Lozano fielded captain Saeid Marouf, Mehdi Marandi, Adel Gholami, Seyed Mohammad Mousavi, Milad Ebadipour, Shahram Mahmoudi and Mohammad Javad Manavinezhad in the initial line-up, looking to break the unlucky streak at this year's FIVB World League and earn the first victory for his team.
Iran started the match more effectively, and managed to maintain the advantage it had built early on with fine spikes.
The Iranian side then availed themselves of nine individual mistakes that their South American counterparts made to take the first set 25-22.
Both teams started the second set battling for each point, unleashing long rallies and pulling off saves. The national Iranian volleyball squad took control later on, and Ebadipour scored an ace to put the Asians ahead by three points (10-7).
Argentina bounced back right after the second technical timeout, and tried to cut the deficit. Iranians, however, did not relinquish and ended the second part by 25 points to 20.
The Argentines, having lost two consecutive sets and seeing their hopes on the verge of collapse, struggled to rack up points as the match went into the third set, and Nicolas Bruno helped his South American side stand ahead 6-5.
Argentina’s volleyball team then extended its advantage and widened the gap to ultimately close the set at 25-21.
Iran’s Seyed Mohammad Mousavi earned the first point of the fourth set, but it was Argentines who reclaimed the lead and opened 4-1. The South Americans took the set 25-13 at last, thanks to the great performance of their defenders.
Iranian volleyball players were in full throttle in the fifth set, and clinched the match 15-11.
Mohammad Javad Manavinezhad was the leading scorer for Iran with 18 points, while Argentina’s Cristian Poglajen collected 16 points.
“It is always hard for me when I have to face Argentina. Julio Velasco is a great friend. I would rather like not to be in that situation, but that is sport. We had a great game with a good performance on the side-out. We almost did not commit any mistakes in the tiebreak. But there is still room for improvements,” Lozano said after the match.
“We played well against Argentina. The third and the fourth sets were tougher and the Argentines showed strong block and defense. We took all the opportunities we had in the tiebreak to win the match,” Marouf said.