By Maryam Hessaby
Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand, October 10, 2021 – Prolific Saber Kazemi scored a match-high 17 points including 15 spikes to steer Sirjan Foulad Iranian to 3-1 (26-24, 25-14, 24-26, 25-10) win against AGMK and second victory in the 2021 Asian Men’s Club Volleyball Championship at Terminal 21 Hall on Sunday.
The Iran’s Premier League Champions came up in full strength in the opening set against the Uzbekistan Premier League winners. Making use of the splendid offensive combination of devastating attacks by Mohammad Sadeghi and left-hander Saber Kazemi, who landed the MVP at the recent Asian Senior Men’s Championship in Chiba, Japan, Sirjan Foulad Iranian narrowly beat AGMK 25-23 in the hard-fought set.
In the second set, both teams were levelled 15-15, but triple blocks of Mahdi Jelveh, Ramin Khani and Serbian Aleksandar Blagojevic helped Sirjan Foulad Iranian advance 19-16. The Iranians effectively blocked the Uzbek attacks and struck back immediately with thundering spikes to puncture the rivals’ defence apart before wrapping up the lopsided battle 25-14 for a commanding 2-0 lead.
Conceding a two-set deficit, AGMK recovered with boosted confidence and played more consistently in the third set. Bunyodbek Khosinov, who tallied 18 points in this match, played a vital role in the team’s comeback, courtesy of his powerful cross-court attacks. After that, Sirjan Foulad Iranian lost their tough with unforced mistakes, allowing the rivals’ attacking opportunities. AGMK clawed their way back to take the thrilling set 26-24.
The fourth set was completely one-way traffic, with Sirjan Foulad Iranian taking an early 9-2 lead, leaving head coach of AGMK to call a timeout to improve their fortunes. Still, their attempts could not help that much. Sirjan Foulad Iranian showcased their exceptional tactics and form to continue their remarkable run in the set for the eventual 25-10 win.
Sirjan Foulad Iranian’s Mohammad Sadeghi commented after the match, “AGMK played a bit tougher than Rebisco. I think they played very well today. We will next take on Al-Arabi Sport Club and we have to be more focused to beat them.”
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