Iran and Bahrain win opening matches of Asian men's qualifier
Tehran, Iran, September 11, 2013 - The final Pool B matches of the Asian men’s qualification started Wednesday at the Azadi Sport Hall No.2 in Tehran, capital city of Iran.
The teams are playing to win a place at the 2014 World Championship in Poland. Along with the top three teams from Pool A, C and D, the winner of the tournament will go to the 2014 World Championship in Poland, which will be held from September 3 to 21. Australia from Pool A and Korea from pool D have already booked their tickets to the World championship. In Pool C, China (host), India, Chinese Taipei and Saudi Arabia will play for their ticket to the Championship from September 20 to 22.
Bahrain defeat Indonesia 3-0
Bahrain beat Indonesia in straight sets 3-0 (25-16, 25-20, 25-21) in the opening match. Rizal Ayip led Indonesia with 12 points while Bahrain’s leading scorer Fadhel Mohamed got 20 points as the best scorer.
“Bahrain is very strong team. Our players are young, and their lack of experience shows itself. We had a problem with our blocks and the players made many mistakes. We hope to play well in the next match,” said Ibarsjah Djanut, coach of Indonesia.
Bahrain coach, Nezar Alshakili said, “We did not have a good idea about the Indonesian team as we did not know them. The first match for both teams was important. They are young and have no experience. Our team was better than them.”
Fadheh Mohamed, captain of the Bahrain team said, “We will fight for any point. The experience of the Iranian players is very high. They have a very good head coach in Velasco. We will do our best.”
Iran clinch their first win against Pakistan 3-0
The Iran team imposed their power over a young and inexperienced team of Pakistan to clinch their first win 3-0 (25-22, 25-22, 25-21).
In the first set, Iran forged ahead of the Pakistan team with an 8-5 lead at the first technical timeout then a 16-10 lead at the second. Pakistan could not recover with their spikes and services and fell behind 15-23. Then Pakistan’s service to the net and their setter sending the ball outside of the court allowed Iran to take the set 25-15.
The scores were close in the second set and were tied until 4-4. But Iran became focused and gradually enlarged the gap, leading 16-11 at the second technical time out. As Pakistan tried to bring up the scores, their players struggled finding it difficult to come close to their opponents allowing Iran to close the set 25-19.
The third set was totally different from the first and second one, with Iran easily taking a 10-2 lead. Pakistan’s efforts were not sufficient to resist Iran’s attack and in the second technical time out, the scoreboard showed 16-5. Iran finally took the set 25-13 to conclude the match.
“I think there is a big difference in the level of the two teams. So prior to the match I had asked my players to concentrate with self-confidence and respect their opponents as we do in front of any team. Being qualified for this tournament is important to us. I have put Saeed Marouf and Mousavi on rest as they were in need of recovery. Tomorrow we will do better. When a team is the favorite they should perform well,” said Julio Velasco, head coach of Iran.
Iran’s captain Mehdi Mahdavi, “We played well. Paying respect to the opponent players and keeping teamwork is our objective in any match. Our main goal is the World Championship and the Asian Senior Men’s Volleyball Championship.”
Hassan Mazhar, coach of Pakistan said, “Iran is very good team. Some of our players could not join us due to some problems. But we did what we had to do in our power in front of a powerful Iran.”
Pakistan’s No. 8 Khan Aimal was top with 5 points for his side, while Ramin Tashakor, No. 16 of Iran, scored 12 points.
The final Pool B matches of the Asian Men’s qualification will run until September 13. Matches will be contested among Pakistan, Indonesia, Bahrain and host team, Iran. All of Iran’s matches start at 17:00 local time and will be televised live directly from the hall by channel 3 of the national T.V and sport radio of I.R.I.B.