FIVB - Volleyball World League

Press release

Iran beat Egypt to book encounter with Japan in WL 2013 playoffs

After winning Friday's first game in straight sets, Iran booked their spot in the second round after winning the first set

Cairo, Egypt, September 2, 2012 - World number 14 Iran beat Egypt, ranked 13th in the world, 3-1 (25-12, 28-30, 25-17, 25-22) on Sunday to record second win in as many matches against the hosts to confirm their place in the second round of the FIVB World League 2103 qualification process where they will play Japan.

After Friday’s impressive 3-0 win, Iran only needed to win a set to guarantee themselves a spot in the second round against Japan where the winner will play in the World League 2013. And Iran did it impressively, comfortably winning the first set, before wrapping up the match in four.

Like the first match, Shahram Mahmoudi led all scorers with 19 points – and comfortably leading Iran’s scoring as the only player in double figures - while Mohamed Badwy also repeated his great scoring from Friday, topping Egypt’s best with 16 points while Reda Hikel added 15.

Egypt made some changes in their line up from Friday’s game but it had little effect as a block by Mahmoudi saw Iran take an early 5-2 lead in the opening set. Iran were soon 8-4 ahead at the first technical timeout thanks to the quick attacks from captain Alireza Nadi and Hamzeh Zarini before stretching that lead to 16-7 after taking advantage of Egyptian errors in their backline defence and block. Egypt called a timeout with Iran leading 19-9 but Zarini's three spikes and one block gave Iran set point at 24-11 and they closed out the first set 25- 12 in 23 minutes, confirming their fixture against Japan in the next round in emphatic fashion.

Iran started well again in the second set leading 7-4 before Egypt managed to fight back and level the score at 7-7 and then take the lead for the first time in the match at the first technical time out 8-7. Iran equalized at 10-10 and 13-13 as the teams went point-by-point until the second technical timeout when Egypt led 16-14. Two spikes from Mahmoudi and two aces gave Iran the lead at 19-18, forcing Egypt coach Hossameldin Eissawy to call two time outs to try and help his team recover and they succeeded to tie the score at 21-21. A first set point arrived for Egypt thanks to a kill from Saleh Youssef at 24-23. Eissawy’s counterpart Julio Velasco called for a time out at 26-25 before Iran tied the score at 27-27 and 28-28 before a quick attack and a serve from Abdelatif Ahmed gave the second set to the hosts 30-28 in 34 minutes.

In the third set it was the visitors who again took a quick lead at 5-2 before a Badawy spike narrowed the gap to 7-5. A missed serve from Reda gave Iran a three-point lead at the first technical time out 8-5. Egypt never gave up but they couldn't stop Iran dominating due to their excellent defence and attacking force which stretched the lead to five at 13-8. With the continued aggressive attack from Mojtaba Mirzajanpour, who was playing his first set of the match and went on to score six points in one and a half sets, Iran led at the second technical timeout 16-11 before extending their dominance to lead 22-17. Despite two time outs from Egypt, Iran prevailed in the third set 25-17.

Once again, the fourth set started similar to the previous ones with Iran opening an 8-5 advantage at the first technical timeout. Both teams seem to tire which affected their performance, forcing them to commit errors in serve and reception however Iran managed to maintain their lead throughout thanks again to their aggressive attacking game, Iran reached the second technical time out easily ahead at 16-12. Again Eissawy tried to stop the Iranian dominance by calling two timeouts in a row at 18-14 and 19-14 but they couldn't stop the visitors taking the set 25-22.  

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