Iran’s lackluster performance brings about Polish win: 1-3

TEHRAN, Jun. 29 (MNA) – In a day when a win would save Iran’s chances to second round of FIVB World League in Brazil, a lackluster performance squanders the good prospects for national squad.

Iran and Poland started the second match of the second leg of volleyball Pool B, 21 hours local time in Tehran on Sunday in Azadi Stadium, which was full of avid fans expecting a second strong win against the world champion of 2014; however, the things were wrong for Iran after a hopeful win in the first set 25-23 but weak performance in three consecutive sets, which gave 3 full points to the guest Poland and with it good chances for Stéphane Antiga’s men.

Iran kept the winner team composition for the second match as well: Saeid Marouf, Milad Ebadipour, Mojtaba Mirzajanpour, Adel Gholami, Seyed Mohammad Mousavi, Shahram Mahmoudi, and Mehdi Marandi as libero.

The first set was a balanced and equal performance for both teams; the early success of Poland was reversed when Kovač’s request for video check and a defence by Ebadipour brought Iran with a point to change the result 8-7 and the first technical time out.

The second technical time out as well came for Iran 16-13 with Mirzajanpour and Shahram Mahmoudi exploiting the services and returns with excellent performance. However, Poland had a good return, making the score as near as 21-20; a time out by Kovač deprived Poland of much of their heat, but they took Iran in score 23, equalizing the match; but Iran was working better and ultimately won the first set 25-23.

Antiga had a change in his arrangement of Poland introducing Fabian Drzyzga from the outset to diversify attacking style; the measure proved effective when Poland was 3 points ahead; 6-3. A time out by Kovač, a defence by Marouf and a service point minimized the score difference; however, this was Poland which was ahead in the first technical time out; 8-6, and coming into the second technical time out triumphant; 16-13. Poland had obviously an upper hand and saved the difference of points into securing 19-14 and a good margin; Kovač was making consecutive changes, sending in the reserve players, which was unavailing and Poland won the set; 25-20.

In the third set, Poland was enjoying better performance with Michał Kubiak and Fabian Drzyzga getting consecutive points to the technical time out; 8-5. Iran however took Poland in score 9 and even managed to get to 10 ahead of Poland; errors by Ebadipour and Mahmoudi sent Poland ahead with scores in the scoreboard being 14-11. After the second technical timeout, Iran again managed to minimize the point difference to only 2 points, but again was lagging behind superb performance by the guest and lost for the second time; 25-20.

In fourth set, Iran felt the shock of being behind Poland 4-1; however, Mahmoudi’s impeccable services were responded with no good receives in Polish side, thus equalizing the match 5-5.

A lacklustre performance however gave the technical timeout to Poland in score 8-7; the world champions kept the difference of points to secure the win in the fourth set and with it the game to grab 3 points which was very crucial for Iran to stay in the frontline for the second round.

Iran will play Russia next Friday and the Sunday after Friday. With adding the 6 points which is expected to be grabbed by Iran thanks to very unpromising Russian squad in this edition of world league, Iran would sit and see the US stop Poland in its den to see itself ascending to the next round which will be played in Brazil.

News Code 108247

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