TEHRAN –(Iranart)- I ran volleyball team lost their third match in the FIVB Men’s World Grand Champions Cup to powerhouse Brazil 3-0 at the Osaka Municipal Central Gymnasium in Japan on Friday. It was Iran’s first defeat in the tournament after they had clinched two precious victories against Italy and the US.
Before the third day of the games (Sept. 15), Iran was atop the ranking table, however, as they lost to Brazil, the US won over France (3-0) and Italy defeated Japan (3-1), Iran is now in fourth place.
According to the tournament website, Brazil showed their best performance in the game with their coach Ranan Dal Zotto saying “it was a very important win”.
“Prior to the match, I had doubts because Iran played great volleyball and gave their opponents a tough time in their previous two games. They play speedy volleyball and serve well. Today, their blocking was good and they have a good defensive system. I thought it would be difficult to fully mark their attacks and we had to watch out for their counter-attacks, so that’s why I am pleased we could win,” he said.
Iran coach Igor Kolakovic congratulated Brazil “for a great game” and said there were moments in the second and third sets when Brazil started to play unbelievable defense with great counter-attack.
Short of Energy
“We just didn’t have the energy we had against the US. Maybe we lost a lot of energy in our first two games, but I think Brazil put us under pressure with their high quality,” he concurred. Iran had won both the first and second match 3-2.
“Today was not our day,” Iran captain Saeid Marouf pointed out saying: “they were very strong”.
Focus on Japan
However, he believed they must forget the defeat and focus on the next match. “We always have tough games against Japan. They play very good volleyball, so we must remain focused throughout the game,” Marouf said.
Brazil won the volleyball gold at the 2016 Summer Olympics in the home turf in Rio de Janeiro where Iran finished fifth. Earlier in June this year, Brazil beat Iran 3-1 at the 2017 World League, in the nations’ most recent competitive meeting.
Iran’s last victory over Brazil at the world level was in the 2014 World League when they recorded a 3-1 pool stage win.
On the fourth day of the World Grand Champions Cup Iran will meet the host nation on Sept. 16.