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Iran tops India in controversial Asia Pool D finale

Iran's Mohammad Kazem attempts a spike against the three-man wall of India
Tehran, Iran, May 27, 2009 — Iran scored a comeback victory against India in a controversial final match at the Asia Pool D second-round tournament of the 2010 FIVB Men's World Championship on Wednesday to finish first in the round-robin competition.

Iran and India went into the match secure in the knowledge they had already booked tickets to the third round, with the winner moving on to Japan to play the hosts, South Korea and Kazakhstan, and the runner-up going to China, where the hosts, Australia and the top team from Pool E await.

As China offered the weaker competition, second place appeared to be the prize both teams were playing for Wednesday at Azadi Hall.

Iran eventually utilized their aerial supremacy on attack to take the match in 88 minutes, but both played surprisingly carelessly, drawing dissatisfaction from the spectators and media alike.

India's service game was shaky at best, with some players routinely spiking out of bounds as if on purpose. It was clear that India did not show up with their A game, and it eventually rubbed off on Iran.

The play got so bad at one point that the technical delegate called both head coaches to the jury table to warn them to take the match seriously or face repercussions from the FIVB.

Iran Volleyball Federation President Mohammad Reza Davarzani spoke to his team, telling them to show their skill during the rest of the match.

Journalists berated India head coach Chander Singh after the match, accusing his team of not taking the match seriously. "All that we and the fans wanted was to witness a beautiful match of Volleyball played by two strong teams," said one.
Singh eventually admitted that India wanted to finish second to avoid playing Asian powerhouses Japan and South Korea in the next round, an admission that was roundly criticized.

In the early match, Pakistan needed more than two hours to beat Oman 3-2 (25-23, 22-25, 26-24, 28-30, 15-11), to finish third.

Asia Pool D standings:
1. Iran 6 pts.
2. India 5 pts.
3. Pakistan 4 pts.
4. Oman 3 pts.


May 25
IND vs PAK 3-2 (25-18, 24-26, 20-25, 25-20, 15-13)
IRI vs OMA 3-0 (25-16, 25-18, 28-26)

May 26
IND vs OMA 3-1 (25-18, 20-25, 25-23, 25-19)
RI vs PAK 3-0 (25-20, 25-22, 25-18)

May 27
PAK vs OMA 3-2 (25-23, 22-25, 26-24, 28-30, 15-11)
IRI vs IND 3-1 (21-25, 25-19, 25-21, 25-19)


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