FIVB Men's World Olympic Qualification Tournament 2012 | Japan

MATCH INFO

We knew China would be tough: Velasco


From left: China Yuan Zhi, China captain Cui Jianjun, coach Zhou Jianan. For Iran coach Julio Velasco, captain Alireza Nadi and Hamzeh Zarini

Iran coach Julio Velasco: I’m very happy with this win because we knew China is one of the best teams in the competition. Also, we lost to them in the World Cup, so we knew it would be difficult to win. I’m also happy because we lost the first and third set but we never lost our winning mentality and we focused on the next set not on our mistakes. The key to our win was our service and we prevented China from making combinations because when they have combinations they are very good. We have worked hard on our reception and yesterday and today our reception was really good. Now, we need two days rest because this match was too long.

Iran captain Alireza Nadi:
We played a very good game and beat China, who we had a bad loss to in the World Cup. We played well against them and we analysed them well and that helped us win. But it was a hard game.

(Re. strength in full-set games): I think the point in our team is that we analyse the teams and check how opposing players play and we don’t forget that, even in the fifth set. And we remember what our coach tells us. We don’t play emotionally; we play with our heads. So, if we win in full sets, it’s not down to luck; it is because we know how to play. 

Iran No. 7 Hamzeh Zarini: It was a very good game. China said there was an element of luck in the result, but it’s not true. We dominated all through the game and played well against them in the fifth set. They had chances, but we played a good game. China was one of the opponents we were worried about; we play at a similar level. It was a close game, but I think it will help us in our bid to qualify for the Olympics. 

China coach Zhou Jianan: Today’s game was a great game and close but I think our players played an excellent match. But we have to improve our reception and serving. Our serving was inferior under pressure, which allowed easy attacks by Iran. We lost 2-3, but our players fought well and put on a good performance.

China captain Cui Jianjun: Today’s match was close. We prepared well but couldn’t get the win. But it’s just the second day of the qualifiers, so I want to forget today’s match and do well in our next match. 

China No. 3 Yuan Zhi: Today, our performance on court was not bad, but we had some good luck and bad luck. In terms of ability, there was no gap between China and Iran.


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