Tehran, Iran, September 15, 2019 – Prolific Thomas Edgar scored a match-high 24 points as in-form Australia produced a magnificent comeback 3-1 (22-25, 25-23, 25-21, 25-21) win against world No.8 and hosts Iran to make a clean sweep in Pool A at the SMM 20th Asian Senior Men’s Volleyball Championship at the 12,000-seater Azadi Sports Complex on Sunday.
Thomas Edgar scored 22 attacks from 43 attempts and 2 aces, while Amir Ghafour led Iran with 19 points from 15 attacks and a team-leading 4 blocks in a losing effort of helping save the hosts’ pride.
Powerful attackers Amir Ghafour and Milad Ebadipour came up with an excellent offensive combination to get Iran off to a brilliant start for the first set 25-22 win.
However, Australia, strengthened by Thomas Edgar and Nehemiah Mote, did not give up easily as they stormed back devastatingly for wins at the next three sets 25-23, 25-21, 25-21 which the Volleyroos showed their great team efforts to outshine Iran. The host side won the Asian title in 2011 and 2013 and were the only Asian team to compete in the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, where they finished a joint 5th place.
Australia head coach Mark Lebedew said, “We were ready to play Iran. We did not think of Iran until yesterday but the preparations we made helped us for sure. Iran are a great team and it is not easy to play them on their home soil. In the first set, we respected the situation too much but after we set up, we played where we could play volleyball,”
With three consecutive wins, Australia captured the top spot in Pool A to progress to the round of the top eight, where they will meet India, second place in Pool C. Iran finished second in Pool A and will also be advancing to next challenge China, the top team with unbeaten record from Pool C.
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