Casablanca, Morocco, July 10, 2007 - Iran, Bulgaria, Brazil and Russia stay on track for a berth in the semi-finals of the 2007 Men's Junior World Championships in Morocco, following victories over Japan, Italy, Egypt and Argentina respectively, in the round play on Tuesday, although the situation concerning qualification to the next round is far from resolved in both Pools of the competition, because USA team is still fighting for the tickets.
In a thrilling match of the day in Pool A, Iran defeated Japan 3-1 (25-22, 21-25, 25-18, 31-29) in 1h57 and almost secured a spot in the Top Four for the first time ever. Iranian Ali Sajjadi Seyed was the best scorer of his team with 18 points while Japanese Yako Daisuke lead his colours with 28 points as best scorer of the match.
Bulgaria completed one more step towards the competition semi-finals after their difficult victory over the strong Italian side in an all European five sets match (20-25, 25-20, 25-21, 18-25, 15-9) lasting 1h48 full of skills and ambition, were Tsvetan Sokolov raised as the best scorer with 23 points.
The defending champions Russia, meanwhile in Pool B, entertained the spectators in Rabat as they needed 90 minutes to collect another straight sets victory (25-23, 25-18, 25-22) over Argentina. The South American team fought bravely with the good work of captain Rodrigo Quiroga that scored 17 points, but the World Champions were too strong for them. But in spite of their victory, the Russians still need to beat Egypt in
the closing match of the pool, and await the results of both Brazil and the USA in their own next matches to find out if they can defend their title amongst the top four of the event, in Casablanca next weekend.
Brazilian best scorer Wallace De Souza led his team to a very easy 3-0 (25-17, 25-14, 25-13) victory over the African champions Egypt. The unstoppable Brazilian star penetrated the Egyptian defense as all the trials to defend him from the opposite team failed. Brazil coach Percy Oncken used some of their substitutes to give some rest to the main players in the South American Champion team.
USA needed 105 minutes to pull off a 3-2 (23-25, 25-17, 25-23, 20-25, 15-9) win over the Slovenia in a very exciting match leaded by the Americans through their strong front line spikers.
Cuba completed the round line up when they defeated hosts Morocco 3-0 (25-19, 25-22, 25-20) in Mohammed V Complexe Sportif in Casablanca.
Wednesday's matches in the last day of the First Round see Cuba take on Bulgaria, Italy play Japan and Morocco up against Iran in Pool A and Argentina playing USA, Slovenia against Brazil and Egypt against Russia in Pool B.
The group round-robin preliminaries between the 12 teams are being played until Thrusday with a Round Robin system to determine the ranking and will be classified from 1st to 6th. The Semi Finals and play offs rounds consists of a total of 6 matches to be played on July 14 and the Finals and play offs for the gold medal, will be played on July 15 .