July 10, 2003 - Following a stunning 3-1 win over China in the elimination play-offs of the Boys’ Under-19 World Championship, Thailand coach Apichart Kongsawat says he team stands a "good" chance of overcoming their next assignment, the formidable Iran side, who finished second at the previous World Championship
two years ago in Egypt, in the quarter-finals on Friday.
Following the draw for the quarter-finals which took place late Wednesday
night, the Czech Republic next take on Australia, while
Thailand challenge Iran, Russia, who have yet to drop a single set to
their respective rivals en route the quarter-finals, meet defending
five-time champions Brazil and North American champions Puerto Rico play
Asian champions India. All quarter-final matches will be held at the
“I think it will be a tough match. Iran is one of the strongest teams in the
world meet," Thai head coach Apichart Kongsawat said. "To beat them is not an easy job. However, if we could maintain our top form as we did in the match against China, I dare say we stand a
good chance to beat them. We have to improve on spiking and blocking tactics
and try to refrain from making any hasty mistakes. As far as I see them
play, Iranian players are very tall and their jumping ability is incredible.
We have to have an emphasis on fast spikes”.
Iran, who on Wednesday lost their first match in the 2003 world meet by
going down in straight sets to the tall and towering Russians, is confident of
beating the host side.
“We are from the same continent and produce the Asian style," Iranian head coach Naser Shahnazi said. "Though Thailand is expected to make the most of the home crowd advantage, I don’t think my boys
will be under any pressure. If they can maintain their concentration well. I’m
quite convinced that my team will put it past Thailand and storm on to make
it to the semi-finals,” .