FIVB Men's World Olympic Qualification Tournament 2012 | Japan

Press release

Iran need four sets to put away Puerto Rico

Iran's Amir Ghafour attacks against Puerto Rico in the first match of action at Metropolitan Gymnasium at Wednesday

Tokyo, Japan, June 6, 2012 - Iran defeated Puerto Rico in four sets (26-24, 25-16, 22-25, 25-20) on the fourth day of action in the FIVB Men's World Olympic Qualifying Tournament at Tokyo Metropolitan Gym on Wednesday.

Iran improved to 3-1 with the victory, while Puerto Rico remained winless at 0-4 with the loss.

Alireza Nadi and Amir Ghafour sparked the Iran attack with 13 points apiece.

Ezequiel Cruz led Puerto Rico with 14 points. Juan Figueroa had 12 points.

Iran started slowly, but gained momentum late in the first set as their attack began coming together.

For the second straight day, Puerto Rico started off well but then could not sustain it.

Sequiel Sanchez's spike gave Puerto Rico a 5-4 in the first set. Rivera's spike made it 7-6 for Puerto Rico. A spike by Roberto Muniz put Puerto Rico up 8-7 at the first TTO. Alireza Nadi's spike gave Iran a 10-9 lead. Enrique Escalante's service ace made it 15-12 for Puerto Rico. A spike by Sanchez sent Puerto Rico into the second TTO up 16-13. Escalante's spike took it to 20-17 for Puerto Rico. Juan Rivera's spike put Puerto Rico in front 23-21 and Iran called a timeout. Iran sent a spike long and Puerto Rico had set point at 24-21. Iran leveled at 24-24 on a return error by Puerto Rico. Rivera sent a spike wide and Iran had set point at 25-24. Farhad Ghaemi's block gave Iran the set 26-24. Rivera had five points in the set.

Iran moved out to a 4-0 lead in the second set and Puerto Rico took a timeout. Rivera served into the net and Iran took a 7-3 lead. Ghaemi's spike made it 8-4 at the first TTO. Nadi's spike gave Iran a five-point margin at 10-5. Another Nadi spike made it 16-9 at the second TTO. Pourya Fayazid's spike gave Iran a 20-13 advantage. Mehdi Mahdav's block put Iran two points from the set at 23-16. Mahdav's made another fine block to give Iran the set at 25-16.

Reza Ghara's spike made it 6-3 for Iran in the third set and Puerto Rico called a timeout. Ulises Maldonado fired a spike long and Iran led 8-4 at the first TTO. Fayazi's power spike gave Iran a 15-13 edge. Iran was up 16-15 at the second TTO after Puerto Rico sent a spike wide. A block Fernando Morales moved Puerto Rico ahead 18-17. Iran retook the lead 19-18 with a spike and Puerto Rico took a timeout. Pourya's dink made it 21-20 for Iran. Puerto Rico went back up 22-21 when Iran fired a spike long. A spike by Juan Figueroa gave Puerto Rico set point at 24-22. Figueroa fired another spike at Puerto Rico took the set 25-22.

A service ace by Escalante saw Puerto Rico take a 5-3 lead in the fourth set. Ghafour's spike tied it 7-7. Mohammad Mousavi's spike put Iran up 8-7 at the first TTO. Ghafour's spike put Iran up 11-10. Puerto Rico sent a spike long and Iran was on top 15-13. Iran was up 16-14 at the second TTO. A reception error by Iran gave Puerto Rico a 17-16 lead. A block by Hamzeh Zarini moved Iran back in front at 18-17. Rivera sent a spike wide and Iran was ahead 20-18. Ghara's spike put Iran within two points of the match at 23-20. Iran closed it out 25-20 with a spike.

Iran face Venezuela on Thursday, while Puerto Rico meet Serbia.

Australia play Serbia in the next match on Wednesday.

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