FIVB - Volleyball World League

Press release

Italy claim second consecutive World League Finals bronze


The bronze medal remains in Italian hands

Florence, Italy, July 20, 2014 - Italy claimed the bronze medal of the 2014 FIVB World League Finals, beating Iran 3-0 (25-22, 25-18, 25-22) in a sold out and noisy Nelson Mandela Forum.

•    Italy win the bronze medal for the second year in a row. Prior to 2013, they had not finished on the podium for eight seasons.
•    Iran finish fourth, which is their best ever World League performance. In their debut season, 2013, they finished ninth.
•    Italy have now won four matches out of their seven World League meetings with Iran.
•    Iran are the most successful Asian nation in World League history.
•    With 71 points, Iran's Amir Ghafour looks certain to finish as the tournament's best scorer. He is 29 points ahead of USA's Taylor Sander, who plays this evening.



In the first set, Italy got into in an early lead at 8-4. Putting their disastrous performance against Brazil behind them, the team excellently coordinated by Dragan Travica spiked hard and blocked some fierce Iranian attacks. Ivan Zaytsev, Filippo Lanza and Simone Parodi kept Italy ahead at 17-14. Two consecutive aces from Amir Ghafour and good spiking by Motjaba Mirzajanpour stood out, but Italy closed the set, 25-22. 

The second set started off evenly, with neither team managing to gain a decisive advantage. But as Simone Buti, Parodi and Lanza started killing effectively, Italy got into a comfortable lead at 15-12. Iran fought via Farhad Ghaemi and Seyed Mousavi, but thanks to some Iranian mistakes and excellent play by Ivan Zaytsev and Simone Anzani, Italy took the set 25-18.

The third set kicked off with an inspired Buti scoring well for Italy, and an aggressive Ghara Reza striking back for Iran. Iran got 8-5 and 15-12 up, with Farhad Ghaemi and Reza Ghara killing well, advantage reaching 15-12 up, but good hits by Zaytsev, Anzani and Parodi tied the set at 15-15. With supporters screaming “we want this victory”, Italy found the grit they needed to overcome the side Saeid Marouflakrani co-ordinates so well. The Azzurri took the final 25-22, winning set, match and bronze medal.

The match's top scorer was Ivan Zaytsev of Italy with fourteen points. Amir Ghafour was top scorer for Iran with eight points. 

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