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Iran resist Tunisia challenge with 3-1 victory

Wing spiker Mojtaba Mirzajanpour finished with 22 points
Uberlandia, Brazil, October 12, 2013 - Iran won their first 5th-8th classification match at the Men's U23 World Championship with a 3-1 (21-13, 21-18, 18-21, 21-17) victory against Tunisia on the penultimate day of comeptition at the Arena Presidente Tancredo Neves.

Iran started the match much better than Tunisia, rushing into an 11-2 lead based on some good early blocking from opposite Reza Ghara and attacking points from middle blocker Sajad Dehnavi. Tunisia put together a run of points in the middle of the set to increase their score, but handed Iran the set 21-13 on a serve error.

Ghara's blocking was also important in the second set as Tunisia came into the match more, principally through the power attacking of captain Mohamed Arbi Ben Abdallah. One of his spikes levelled the set at 18-18, but with a Mojtaba Mirzajanpour attack and a pair of blocking points, Iran closed out the set 21-18.

The third set was also close in the final stages, but a few errors on crucial points by Iran allowed Tunisia a chance to take the match into a fourth set. Ben Abdallah closed the set 21-18 for Tunisia with a block.

Iran wing spiker Mirzajanpour was much more prominent for Iran in the fourth set and his attacks helped them turn a 15-15 score into a 21-17 set win. The crucial point came with Iran 16-15 ahead, libero Naser Rahimi kept a ball alive from almost outside the court and Mirzajanpour was able to convert it. 

For Iran, Ghara produced the highest individual blocking performance of the tournament with seven of his team's 13 blocking points, while Mirzajanpour was the team's top scorer with 22 points.

On the final day of the tournament Iran will now play Venezuela for 5th-6th place, while Tunisia will play against Argentina for 7th-8th place.

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