Ningbo, China, September 25, 2023 – No. 11 seeds Pourasgari/Aghajanighasab of Iran burst into semifinals after a terrific comeback 2-1 (14-21, 21-15, 15-12) victory against Ashfiya/Akbar of Indonesia in the quarterfinals of the 19th Asian Games Hangzhou 2022 Men’s Beach Volleyball Competition on Monday here at Xiangshan Beach Volleyball Center.
Led by Ashfiya Mohammad, silver medalist of 2018 Jakarta Asian Games, the Indonesian duo came into the match solidly while the Iranians fought hard to keep up with their steps. However, they were pulled away after 11-11 tie as Indonesia geared up with several blocks and smashes to rush ahead . Another killing spike from Akbar Bintang helped Indonesia wrap up the first set 21-14.
Recovering from the first set loss, Iran opened the second set with a 5-1 lead. Indonesia initiated their chasing mode and approached 10-11 behind. Iran understood the pressure and emitted several destructive services, widening the gap again to a 16-11 lead. Both sides traded points with mighty spikes till 19-14 before Iran played a crafty dip to finish the set 21-15.
The third set saw both sides answer each other with diverse attacking techniques. The score increased alternatively to a 10-10 tie. Iran grasped more opportunities and reached a 15-12 win following an attacking error by Indonesia.
“It was quite a tough game. Indonesia is a strong team. They eliminated Iran five years ago in Palembang. They are good at setting and attacking. We are so happy to win the match and enter semifinals. ” said Pourasgari Abbas of Iran.
The other pair of Iran, Salemiinjehboroun/Shoukati, were not so lucky as they encountered the defending champions, world No. 3 and Tokyo Olympic bronze medallists Ahmed/Cherif of Qatar.
But they played resolutely and positively, producing enough troubles to the powerful opponent. They led all the way in the second set until 17-17 tie. However, Qatar proved their upper-handed capability, especially in scoring crucial points, and claimed a thrilling 2-0 (21-17, 21-19) victory.
“Iran is a good team. Our defense was working good today. We are more balanced in attacking and defense. But we need to do better in the next game.” said Ahmed Tijan of Qatar.
In the other two quarterfinals matches, Abuduhalikejiang/Wu of China eliminated their compatriots Wang/Li 2-0 (21-13, 21-18) while Bogatu/Yakovlev of Kazakhstan prevailed 2-1 (20-22, 21-18, 15-11) win against Aldash/Gurin in the all-Kazakhs affair.
The semifinals on Tuesday will see Abuduhalikejiang/Wu of China take on Pourasgari/Aghajanighasab of Iran while Bogatu/Yakovlev of Kazakhstan challenge Qataris Ahmed/Cherif. Winners will set final clash on Thursday.
Ningbo, the second largest city of Zhejiang Province, enjoys a long history of over 7,000 years with plenty of historical and religious sites. Served as one of the co-host cities for the 19th Asian Games, Ningbo will host two events of beach volleyball and sailing in its coastal Xiangshan County. The 19th Asian Games will be held in Hangzhou, capital city of Zhejiang from September 23 to October 8, 2023.
Match Result and Schedule (Local time)
September 25, 2023 (Monday)
12:00 CHN (Abuduhalikejiang/Wu) v CHN (Wang/Li) 2-0 (21-13, 21-18)
13:00 KAZ (Aldash/Gurin) v KAZ (Bogatu/Yakovlev) 1-2 (22-20, 18-21, 11-15)
19:00 IRI (Pourasgari/Aghajanighasab) v INA (Ashfiya/Akbar) 2-1 (14-21, 21-15, 15-12)
20:00 IRI (Salemiinjehboroun/Shoukati) v QAT (Samba/Janko) 0-2 (17-21, 19-21)
September 26, 2023 (Tuesday)
16:00 CHN (Abuduhalikejiang/Wu) v IRI (Pourasgari/Aghajanighasab)
17:00 KAZ (Bogatu/Yakovlev) v QAT (Samba/Janko)
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