Brazil picks up opening day win, but not without trouble from Iran
Brazil’s offensive attack was a true team effort, with four players scoring in double digits, led by Wallace De Souza who notched 19. He was supported by a great effort by Sidnei Dos Santos Jr. (aka Sidão) who scored 15, including 5 blocks and a pair of aces. For Iran, it was Amir Ghafour leading the way with 15 points.
Both sides were fired up to start this contest, with Ricardo Lucarelli Santos De Souza bringing high flying attacks up front for Brazil, while Amir Ghafour and Hamzeh Zarini countered strong for Iran. But it was Brazil’s Sidão who pushed his side ahead with a stubborn stuff block on an attacking Zarini to make it 9–6, and serving very well to extend to 14–9. From there, Brazil cruised with an evenly distributed attack, blocking well throughout, capped by an incredible stuff by Lucas Saatkamp on Iran’s Farhad Ghaemi, taking the set 25–16.
The second set saw both teams stumble out of the gate, with a number of lead changes. Iran edged ahead 13–12 on a furious kill by Mousavi Eraghi, but the Brazilians appeared to take offense, responsing with a six point run capped by a stuff block and a hard spike by Lucas to make it 18–13. Lucarelli’s pipe attack gave Brazil set point at 24–17, and from there Sidão served it out with an ace, taking the second set 25–17 (2–0).
Iran looked serious to start the third however, with attacks from Mousavi Eraghi and Mobasheri Demneh putting them up 7–4. But Brazil, despite a flurry of errors, hung close, and eventually edging past Iran, again thanks to Sidão, who put his third block stuff on Demneh and followed with a spike to make it 14–12. Brazil kept the lead until late when they had a suddenly lapse in composure that let Iran tie it up. Iran showed incredible persistence, going ahead on an ace by Ghafour, 22–21. Brazil rebounded but squandered two set points before a pair of Iranian blocks by Ghaemi and Gholami stole the third set from the Brazilians 27–25, Iran down two sets to one.
Ghaemi continued to frustrate Brazil in the fourth, planting a blistering ace behind the South Americans to edge ahead 10–9. And despite a number of mistakes on their part, Brazil jumped back ahead thanks to three consecutive kills from Lucarelli, but gave the lead right back as a mis-cue between Bruno Mossa Rezende and Sidão made it 18–17 for Iran. But the difference in this set would be Brazil’s Mario Da Silva Pedreira Junior, whose incredible pancake save late led to a spike to make it 23–22 for his side. From there Brazil took the set 25–23, and the match 3–1, on a hard spike from Evandro M. Guerra.