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Serbia wins gold medal at Youth Boys World Championship

Jesolo, Italy, September 6, 2009 - First-time participant Serbia made an impressive debut by winning the 2009 FIVB Boys’ Championship with a 25-22, 20-25, 17-25, 25-20, 15-11 victory over Iran on Sunday at Palazzo del Turismo in Jesolo.

Dusan Petkovic, who replaced injured star Uros Kovacevic halfway second set, scored the final point for Serbia finishing with 11 important points.

Aleksandar Atanasijevic paced the Serbian offense with 24 points while Vuk Milutinovic finished with 15 points including four blocks. Milan Peric added 14 and Nemanja Opacic contributed three aces and two blocks. Purya Fayazi topped Iran with 19 points and Amir Ghafour collected 16.

The Serbians won the match and the gold medal despite committing 31 errors, twelve more than their opponents.
“It was the most difficult match in my life,” said Atanasijevic. “Even when we lost Uros Kovacevic in the second set because if his injury we felt that we could win. He was sitting on the bench and was crying, so we wanted to win for him. And for our country it was a historical success.”

Milutinovic had two spikes and Peric scored with spike and ace for Serbia lead 8-6. Ghafour attacked for Iran and we had a 10-10 score. Porza Mirzaei came from the bench to score with two blocks for Iran but Serbia was in front 16-14 at the second time-out behind the attacks of Kovacevic. Serbia won 25-22 taking advantage of a streak of Iranian service faults.

The spike of Ghafour broke a tie 6-6 and Kovacevic attack was out of bounds for an 8-6 lead in favor of Iran in the second set. Serbia tied at 11-all with block by Milutinovic. But then gave away two points via errors. One block by Salafzoon gave Iran the advantage 16-13 at the second stop. Two spikes of Kovacevic closed the gap 17-16 and Opacic served one ace for the tie. Fayazi scored for Iran but Atanasijevic replied back only to see another spike by Fayazi. Milutinovic tied the score at 19-19. Two mistakes of Serbia allowed Iran to be in front 21-19 while Kovacevic was in the bench receiving treatment for a back pain. . Faezi blocked. Iran won 25-20.

Iran led 8-6 despite the attacks of Serbian Atanasijevic. Iran was in front 16-13 at the second time out. Spike by Tariverdi put the score 18-13 forcing a Serbian time-out. Fayazi kept the distance and Bagherpour blocked for 22-15. Fayazi continued pounding and Iran won easily 25-17 with the last two points coming from Serbian missed attacks.

Ace by Opacic gave Serbia an 8-7 lead. Fayazi blocked and hit a rocket sending Iran in front 10-9. Anatasijevic tied for Serbia at 11 and then hit another bomb to put his team in the lead. Tetkovic missed his serve. Milutinovic and Habibi traded spikes and Anatasijevic scored with spike and then missed with his serve. Tied at 15-all Anatasijevic gave Serbia the slight advantage 16-15. Peric failed with his serve but Milutinovic scored with a block and Petkovic followed with spike for the 18-16 difference. Habibi and Anatasijevic exchanged hits and Peric extended the lead to 20-17. Fayazi scored but Milutinovic answered back. Serbia won 25-20.

Block by Salafzoon and spike by Milutinovic started the battle in the fifth set. Ghafour landed one spike for the tie at 3-all. Opacic and Ghafour traded spikes but Mirzaei missed his serve. Mirzajanpour landed spike but Anatasijevic collected another spike. Iran evened with another block and Petkovic hit out of bounds for a 7-6 Iran advantage. Milutinovic tied at 7-7 and Bagherpour broke it. Teams traded sides with Iran leading 8-7. Anatasijevic and Fayazi exchanged blocks. And Peric scored with a tip off the block for the tie at 9. Error of Iran gave Serbia the two-point lead and Peric scored with spike from the left side for a 12-9 difference. Ghafour scored but Milutinovic blocked Mirzajanpour spike. Fayazi scored for Iran and Peric answered for match-point. Petkovic scored and Serbia won the title.



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