Reigning champions Iran topped the chart in Pool G after brushing off Thailand in straight sets 25-18, 25-12, 25-22 on the last day of second-round play in the FIVB Volleyball Men’s U21 World Championship in Carbonia, Italy on Wednesday, but both sides advanced to the 9th-12th playoffs.
Overall, Iran were better on all counts, finishing with as many as 20 more successful attacks (48 to 28). Hossein Amir Toukhteh, who joined the Iran’s starting lineup in their final showdown against Japan and shut out the host side for a successful title defence at the recent Asian Senior Men’s Championship, chipped in with 17 points for Iran. Bardia Saadat and Khajeh Khalili Amin kept good company to add 16 and 15 points respectively. Sutthiphong Donlakkham led Thailand with 12 points.
Iran controlled the game since the very beginning of the match, taking the first set with a comfortable margin of seven points. The 2019 champions kept performing better, dominating completely in attack, while Thailand were seizing on their opponents’ errors. Thailand put up a fight in the third set, and were close to taking it at 20-19, but some good plays in attacking by Amir Toukhteh put an end to the discussion.
“It wasn’t a difficult match, because we analyzed the Thai team and their combinations very well and we knew their weak spots. I hope that we will deliver very good performances in the next matches, because Iran are a strong team,” Ramezani Younes, setter of Iran, said.
Sutthiphong Donlakkham, opposite and captain of Thailand: “I believe it that it was a good game. Iran is a strong team, and we all fought very hard. Please support us for the rest of the games!”
Both Iran and Thailand will next compete in the 9th-12th playoffs in Sofia, Bulgaria, with Pool G winners Iran taking on Pool H runners-up Cuba and Pool G runners-up Thailand going up against Pool H winners Canada. The two winning teams will then battle it out for the 9th place, with the losers vying for the 11th position.
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