In-form Belgium surprised defending champions Iran on the opening day of action in Pool C with a hard-fought 3-2 (25-20, 25-23, 26-28, 26-28, 15-8) victory in exhausting 155-minute encounter in the FIVB Volleyball Men’s U21 World Championship in Carbonia, Italy on Thursday.
Ferre Reggers scored a match-high 24 points including 21 attacks and 2 aces for Belgium and Seppe Rotty kept good company to add 23 points. Toukhteh Amir Hossein, one of the Iran’s key players in the final showdown against hosts Japan at the recent 21st Asian Senior Men’s Championship ahead of the Iran’s successful Asian title defence, scored 23 points on the team’s losing effort.
Wout D’heer, captain and middle blocker of Belgium: “We won this match thanks to our great team spirit. We had the match in our hands when in the third set, we were leading with a comfortable point-difference! Afterwards, Iran improved. I am happy that we could win after having lost a bit our rhythm. I am not so happy about my game, I didn’t start that good, but luckily, we don’t count only on individual players, but on the team.”
Nikpoor Sina, opposite hitter of Iran: “It was a hard and difficult match for us. Before the Worlds, we didn’t play any friendly matches. Today, we tried, and we came back to the match. I hope that tomorrow will be better than today. Congratulations to the team of Belgium!”
Iran will next challenge Argentina, which pulled off a 3-0 victory over Morocco, on Friday.
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