Surabaya, Indonesia, July 27, 2017 – China, disappointed with a straight-set loss to Australia the previous day, regained their pride on Thursday when they stunned Asia’s powerhouses Iran in straight sets 27-25 25-19 25-20 at their first top-eight playoff encounter at the SMM 19th Asian Senior Men’s Volleyball Championship at the Tri Dharma Petrokimia Gymnasium on Thursday.
Iran, sending a strong U23 squad preparing for the next month’s FIVB Volleyball Men’s U23 World Championship in Cairo, Egypt, fielded a strong line-up led by terrific Amin Esmaeinejad. China are also strong with excellent offensive combination of Ji Daoshuai and Zhong Weijun.
As China were playing their best form, Iran obviously dropped their rhythm and could not maintain their incredible form which gave them a clean sweep of three matches in the Pool B preliminaries. China swept past the former successive two-time champions in a hard-fought three-setter.
Jiang Chuan topscored with 15 points for China including 11 kills from 27 attempts and 3 ace serves, while Zhong Weijun contributed 11 kills from 20 attempts. Salim Cheperli led Iran with 10 points including 8 kills, while strongly-built Amin Esmaeilnejad added 10 points though his exceptional attacks.
“Today we played very well. We can play the level we are playing. Actually, we have a very young team and sometimes, they played inconsistently, up and down. We next play Chinese Taipei. I think it will be a very tough match. Chinese Taipei play very, very good. They had quick attacks. Their first set win against Australia today is very impressive. We have to properly prepare for the match and try to play a good match against Chinese Taipei,” China’s Argentine head coach Raul Lozano, who was named the head coach of the Iran national volleyball team and led Iran to their first appearance at the Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro last year.
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