TEHRAN – (Iranart)- I ran volleyball team defeated Japan, its old arch-rival in Asia, on the fourth day of the 7th FIVB Men’s World Grand Champions Cup at the Osaka Municipal Central Gymnasium in Japan on Saturday.
Japan, which is hosting the games, lost all their three previous matches and was looking for its first victory in the tournament. On the other hand, Iran had won two games out of three, beating giants Italy and the US in the first two games (both 3-2) and losing to powerhouse Brazil (3-0).
Japan started the match better and claimed the first set (25-21). However, it was Iran that emerged better in the next three sets (25-19, 25-20 and 25-14) and won the game 3-1.
According to the tournament website, Iran player Amir Ghafour topped all scorers with 23 points that boosted the country’s precious triumph.
Ghafour had a solid performance from the attack line as he scored 21 spikes. He also helped out on defense with two stuff blocks.
The two nations met for the third time at the champions cup. In 2013, Iran won in three straight sets and Japan won a sweet 3-2 in 2009.
The teams’ most recent meeting at world level was in June 2016 when Iran beat Japan 3-1 in an Olympic qualifier.
Now on the champions cup table Brazil and Italy are first and second, both with three wins and nine points and Iran is third with seven points above the US which has eight points.
The reason why Iran has a higher ranking compared to the US despite one less point is that based on the tournament ranking criteria, the teams are classified in descending order by the number of matches won. Therefore, Iran with three wins stands above the US which has won two games (3-0) and lost two other matches (2-3).
France and Japan are at the end of the table with three and no points respectively.
On the last day of the games, Sept. 16, Iran will face France, Brazil will meet Japan and Italy will battle against the US. At the end of the tournament, the first three teams will be awarded gold, silver and bronze medals.
Chance for Medal
According to the current rankings, Iran has a high chance of winning a medal, possibly also gold. If either Brazil or Italy win, they will be the champion, regardless of the result of other games. If Iran beats France, winning a medal will be guaranteed for the Iranian squad while the color of the medal will depend of the outcome of other games.
In case both Brail and Italy lose and Iran downs France, Iran will be the gold winner. Even if Iran loses, there still will be a chance of coming home with a bronze if Italy can defeat the US.