Nakhon Pathom, Thailand, August 13, 2022 – Iran faced a daunting task against Thailand to see off the host side in dramatic 3-1 (25-14, 25-23, 20-25, 25-22) win in their classification round for 5th-8th places in the 2022 AVC Cup for Men at the Nakhon Pathom Provincial Gymnasium on Saturday to next fight for the 5th position in this topflight tournament.
Fielding their U20 squad which are using this crucial competition as a stepping stone in their intensive preparation for the Asian Men’s U20 Championship in Riffa, Bahrain between August 22 and 29, Iran came out in full force with the 206cm-tall Amir Mohammad Golzadeh, ace spiker Poriya Hooseinkhanzadeh Firouzjah and the team’s tallest player, the 210cm Porya Hosseinpour.
Thailand were playing without their setter Mawin Maneewong, who suffers from a health problem, but remained strong with the likes of left-hander Amorntep Konhan and the 204cm Kantapat Koonmee.
Iran made a strong start with Poriya Hooseinkhanzadeh Firouzjah and Amir Mohammad Golzadeh penetrating the Thai defence with their spectacular attacks to put the team ahead 9-6 and from then scored 6 points in succession, grabbing the opportunity when Thailand made several unforced mistakes to widen it to 15-6. As the host side obviously dropped from their best, the Iranians continued their superb form with aggressive attacks and solid blocks to win the completely one-sided affair 25-14.
Thailand were back at full strength in the second set to challenge the strong visitors seriously. Effective blocks, Kantapat’s back-row attacks and fast spikes from Chatmongkhon Paketkaeo gave home fans something to cheer about. Thailand advanced 17-15 and maintained their leading role with just one-point advantage at 22-21, thanks to Kantapat’s ace serve. Iran pulled their game together and hit back to catch up with the Thais at 23-all. They scored two points on the trot including a devastating attack from sub-in Poriya Hooseinkhanzadeh Firouzjah to clinch the hard-fought second set 25-23.
In the third set, Thailand led the way with four-point clear at 9-5 and stretched it to 16-12, courtesy of their intensified defence and improved combinations. Trailing six points at 12-18, Iran, Iran replaced their best players with substitutions to improve their game. They regrouped and hit back aggressively to narrow the margin 17-23. However, as Thailand found their touch to come up with better performance, Iran’s comeback attempts were in vain. The host team took the set 25-20.
The fourth set was also tense as both sides battled hard to surge into the lead. Levelling 10-10, Iran relied on their impeccable defence, powerful attacks from Amir Mohammad Golzadeh and powerful jump serves from Poriya Hooseinkhanzadeh Firouzjah to catch the Thai team at 17-17 and advanced 20-18. Despite putting up a brave fight, Thailand still found Iran in above class to go down narrowly 22-25.
Poriya Hooseinkhanzadeh Firouzjah scored a match-high 21 points including 18 attacks and 2 stuff blocks, while Amorntep Konhan and Kantapat Koonmee handed Thailand 18 points apiece.
Related links of AVC
AVC Website: click www.asianvolleyball.net
AVC Facebook: click www.Facebook.com/AsianVolleyballConfederation
AVC Twitter: click: www.twitter.com/AsianVolleyball
AVC Instagram: click: https://www.instagram.com/avcvolley/?hl=en
AVC Youtube: click: Asian Volleyball Confederation
AVC WeChat: Asian Volleyball Confederation