QATAR DETHRONE IRAN IN SHOWDOWN TO CAPTURE MAIDEN VICTORY AT AVC CUP FOR MEN
Taipei, Chinese Taipei, August 15, 2018 – Qatar produced an epic 3-2 comeback victory over title-holders Iran in the quivering final showdown of the 6th AVC Cup for Men at the University of Taipei (Tianmu) Gymnasium on Wednesday.
The hard-fought 23-25, 21-25, 25-22, 25-18 ,15-10 win earned Qatar their maiden title at this top-flight competition. More importantly, this was the first time since the tournament inception in 2008 in Nakhon Ratchasima,Thailand that Qatar made it to the last four teams aside from capturing the crown with remarkable unbeaten record.
The Wednesday’s final clash saw Qatar and Iran enter the court in confidence as both sides have yet lost a match to their respective rivals. Both teams proved to be on red-hot form with trading heavy blows from the very beginning of the first set. Iran’s efficient blocks helped them reach their first lead at 6-5. Hammad Mubarak contributed his effort in spiking and blocking, facilitating Qatar to keep up with Iran until 23-23 tie. However, a timeout called by Iran disturbed Qatar’s chasing step and Iran clinched the close set 25-23.
Iran maintained their advantage in blocking in the second set as they led all the way to a 25-21 win.
Unwilling to yield, Qatar punched back Iran at the beginning of the third set with a 3-0 lead. Iran fought it back later and were left with just one point behind at 18-19. Qatar answered with their better organized blocking and snatched the set 25-22.
In the fourth set, Qatar took an early lead 8-4 and widened it to 16-7 with unstoppable attacks before bagging the comfortable set 25-18.
In the decider, both teams scored their first point impressively. Left behind 1-4, Iran called a timeout but in vain as Qatari’s unstoppable cannon-like spikes penetrated the Iranian’s defence. Following a crispy block, Qatar grasped the tie-breaker 15-10 and the championship of the 6th AVC Cup for Men.
“We are very excited now. We always believe that we can win the championship. The main reason we could win the Cup is our attitude for every game. We never give up. Every player did his job well, and we worked consistently as a team,” commented by Qatar head coach Camilo Soto.
Ribeiro Renan contributed 20 points for Qatar including 17 kills from 30 attempts and 3 blocks, while for the losing side, captain Esfandiar Amirhossein chipped in with a match-high 22 points including 20 attacks from 35 attempts, and Yali Porya scored 20 points including 18 attacks from 41 attempts and 2 blocks.
As Qatar stamped their authority over the championship, Iran picked up silver place, failing in their efforts of retaining the title. Japan grabbed bronze medal, the similar performance they had achieved in the previous edition in Nakhon Pathom, Thailand two years ago, while hosts Chinese Taipei maintained their fourth position as they won in 2010 and 2016.
4. Chinese Taipei
BEST OUTSIDE SPIKERS
Qatar No.4 Ribeiro Renan
Chinese Taipei No.7 Liu Hung-Min
BEST MIDDLE BLOCKERS
Qatar No.16 Ibrahim Mohamed
Iran No.4 Taghizadeh Rahman
Qatar No.12 Hammad Mubarak
Iran No.14 Karimisouchelmael Javad
Japan No.6 Ogawa Tomohiro
Qatar No.16 Ibrahim Mohamed
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