IRAN IN FINAL SHOWDOWN THREE TIMES IN SUCCESSION AT ASIAN MEN’S U20 CHAMPIONSHIP
Manama, Bahrain, July 27, 2018 – Iran stormed into the final showdown of the 19th Asian Men’s U20 Volleyball Championship with remarkable unbeaten record after demolishing Thailand 3-1 in the semi-final clash on Friday.
Iran, silver medalists at the previous edition two years ago in Chinese Taipei, fielded seven players who joined a squad which captured the world title at the last year’s FIVB Men’s U19 Volleyball World Championship to power past Thailand 3-1 (25-14, 25-18, 15-25, 25-14) to make a step closer to winning their sixth Asian title.
However, their victory over Thailand on Friday not only guaranteed Iran a slot to contest the 2019 FIVB Volleyball Men’s U21 World Championship but also earned them a place in the final showdown in the Asian Men’s U20 Championship for three times in a row.
In 2014, Iran advanced to the final showdown in Manama here and beat China for the Asian title. In 2016, China regained the lost pride after avenging the Iranians in the final clash in Kaohsiung, Chinese Taipei. So, this will be the Iran’s three times in a row for their effort in the final, but 10 finals overall.
Iran came up with quick play and powerful attacks of Morteza Sharifi foiling the Thai’s fightback efforts. Iran, the only team which have yet lost to any rivals, covered the court marvelously and their resilience proved too much for the opponents throughout the first two sets.
Thailand made a comeback after 0-2 disadvantages. Iran’s players were amazed by the impeccable performance of Thailand that could take the third set with power 25-15.
Behrouz Ataei, Iran’s coach, called timeout out and asked his players to stay focused. He further commented, “We enter this tournament to secure the world berth that is our first goal. We will follow our next goal to be the champion”.
Iran came back to the match and did not let Thailand step forward as they closed the fourth set 25-14. Thailand ended the Iran’s set winning streak in this tournament after going down 1-3.
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