Tehran, Iran, August 28 - The spotlight will be on Brazil's clash with Iran as the quarterfinals of the Men's Under 21 World Championship start in Tehran on Friday. Both Brazil, the red hot favorites for the title and Iran, usually aided by more than 10,000 spectators, were expected to go a long way in the tournament but come Friday, the Championship will be over for one of them.
In the same round Serbia Montenegro, the only team with Brazil to have recorded four successive victories will meet Poland while Russia, the second favorites play Bulgaria. Korea, the surprise package of the tournament, meets Germany.
The four winners will qualify for the semifinals, while the losers will play off for the 5-8 positions.
After four days of competition Brazil and Russia are the most favored despite Brazil's historic victory over Russia in the play-off seeding groups on Wednesday, which was reportedly considered by the Russians as only a warm up for the actual final expected to be between both teams on Sunday.
"It doesn't matter who we meet as we progress towards the trophy, " Russian coach Serguei Tsvetnov said.
"We will meet a team with six players on the court and 11,000 supporters in the stands but for us it is all the same as we concentrate on the cup," said Brazilian coach Antonio Lerbach .
Apart from the two favorites, Serbia and Montenegro have slipped into contention with steady performances in their four matches, losing only three sets in the process - the second best record behind Brazil.
Many players have emerged in the play-off matches with the most prominent being the Brazilian big gun Samuel Fuchs, who was the main reason behind his team's historic victory over Russia, The Bulgarian promising wing spiker Matey Kaziyski who has played for the senior national team and his teammate Danail Milushev have also impressed while the Russian trio of Denis Kalanine, Yurily Berezhko and Alexandre Abrossimov have been very efficient attacking weapons.