Bahrain and Iran clinch second win in Asian men's qualifier
Tehran, Iran, September 12, 2013 – Bahrain and Iran have taken their second win against Pakistan and Indonesia on day two of the Asian Men’s Qualification Tournament for pool B. The only ticket to the 2014 World Championship will be decided tomorrow between Bahrain and hosts Iran.
Bahrain takes straight win against Pakistan 3-0 (25-22, 25-23 25-22).
Bahrain took control of the match immediately and dominated the first set with their services and harsh spikes. Pakistan called for a time out when the score was 8-12 after which time Bahrain won seven more points leading the way 19-14. Pakistan had problems piercing Bahrain’s blocks and were unable to earn points even from the triple blocks. Bahrain easily won the set at 25-22.
Pakistan seemed better able to anticipate Bahrain’s blocks in the second set, managing to get in more strikes than in the first. The team managed better during interchanges and were just one point behind 5-6 at the start of the set. Bahrain tried to pull ahead of Pakistan with their blocks and were at 8-5 at the first technical timeout and 16-12 in the second. Pakistan tried hard to narrow the scores managing to close the gap at 23-24, which pushed Bahrain to call a timeout. Bahrain took the set 25-23 with player number 13 scored the last points with a spike. Pakistan started the third set well, tying the scores at 3, 4, 6 and 16 points. The serving efficiency by Bahrain proved to be the biggest difference and as Pakistan’s reception was not perfect, Bahrain was able to take the set 25-22.
Player number 13 named Alnabhan Jasim was the best scorer of the game with 18 points, while Pakistan’s Khan Aimal was his team’s best scorer with 10 points.
Ahmed Nasser, captain of Pakistan said, “This is not our level. We have not got all of our main players in this tournament. Our first setter and first receiver are not with us and as you noticed, I was playing in reception position.”
Bahrain’s head coach Nezar Alshakili said, “Pakistan has a good ranking in Asia. Their players are mentally and physically strong. But they did not play as well as we expected. Now we have a good chance. The last match will be against the Iranian team, who are a good team at a good level. We do not know what will happen on the court.”
Fadhel Mohamed, captain of Bahrain said, “Pakistan was not ready for the tournament. We were not expecting them to play at this weak level. They have good volleyball skills.”
Iran sweeps Indonesia 3-0 (25-12, 25-20, 25-11)
Iran swept Indonesia 3-0 (25-12, 25-20, 25-11) to achieve their second win of the tournament. The host team started with strong spikes and defence leading the scores 4-0. Indonesia asked for time out and then got the first point with a lucky serve by Arash Keshavarzi. But Iran’s players pushed through to lead 8-4. Although Indonesia’s players did not have the proper coordination and team unity, they still managed to earn points capitalising on the Iranian players’ mistakes. Iran continued to lead with their spikes, double and triple blocks to take the score to 20-10 at which time Indonesia’s coach called a second time out, which did not result in a significant difference, allowing Iran to quickly finish the set at 25-12.
The start of the second set was close with the scores tied at three points. But Iran gradually pulled ahead with their spikes taking the scores to 8-4. From then on, Iran’s players lost concentration and precision. Their careless spikes and services gave the Indonesian team the chance to close the gap at 12-16. Btu the Iranian team regained control of match and took the set 25-20.
Iran started the third set with full concentration and never gave their opponent any chance. With Shahram Mahmoudi’s ace service, Iran ended the set at 25-11 and clinched their second win in a row.
“Iran volleyball is very powerful. Their defence and service were perfect and precise. We learned a lot from them in this match,” said Ayip Rizal, captain of Indonesia. “Iran’s single, double and triple blocks were very good. We will use what we learned from the host team in future matches. Yesterday we did not play well, but today we performed better with a fighting spirit,” said Ibarsjah Djanu, coach of Indonesia.
Mehdi Mahdavi, Iran’s capitan said, “As you know I’m not the main captain for the team. Our captain Saeed Marouf is on rest and recovery. Our goal today was to concentrate and play with as few mistakes as possible. Except for the first points in the second set, we played well and our block was our main goal.” Regarding their next match against Bahrain he said, “Bahrain is the most powerful team among the guest teams and we want to perform well against them. We want to be the top team and achieve the ticket to the world championship.”
Julio Velasco, head coach of Iran said, “The game was not very difficult for my players. We did block very well. We wanted to blow simple services so those were simple. As Mehdi said the first and third sets were good. Tomorrow we will do our best in front of Bahrain. They have not given any set to their opponents. After this conference we will sit together and analyse their play in order to prepare well.”