Tehran, Iran, September 13, 2019 – Former two-time champions Iran, the only Asian team competing in the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, got their campaign in the 20th Asian Senior Men’s Volleyball Championship at home off to a flying start following a convincing 25-15, 25-17, 25-23 win against Sri Lanka in their opening Pool A match at the 12,000-seater Azadi Sports Complex on Friday.
Pourya Yali scored a team-high 17 points from 14 attacks and a team-leading 3 blocks for hosts Iran, while Isuru led Sri Lanka with 11 attack points.
Iran, which finished fifth at the previous edition in Indonesia two years ago, put their acts together and attacked well to win the first set 25-15 against Sri Lanka, which aimed to better their 14th place achieved in Indonesia.
The second set remained a similar script as Iran took command from the very beginning, with Pourya Yali and Amirhossein Esfandiar attacking devastatingly. As Sri Lanka struggled to find their form, the Iranians shone through their splendid offensive tactics and cruised to a 25-17 win.
Iran frustrated Sri Lanka’s defense with various strategies in the third set for an initial 16-12 lead, but the Sri Lankans managed to catch the host side and level 19-19. Montenegrin Igor Kolakovic, head coach of Iran, called a timeout to improve the situation when Sri Lanka took a commanding 21-19 lead. Iran gradually pulled their game together, caught the visitors at 23-23 and went on to win the hard-fought set 25-23 and match.
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