The Iranian squad had lost the first match of this event to the rejuvenated Poland 3-1 and had no other choice but to defeat strong Brazil to reach the semifinals.
At the Friday match held at Chicago’s Credit Union 1 Arena, Iran came back from two sets down against Brazil but eventually the South American team edged past Iran 3-2 (25-20, 25-23, 24-26, 20-25, 15-10) to win the ticket for the semis.
Although Iran has won seven Asian titles in recent years, the team has not won any trophy in major world events.
“It was an important game for us, as well as Brazil. With the long defeat with Poland. We didn’t have an opportunity to play with all our energy. Unfortunately, we didn’t have enough power to finish this game,” Iran Head Coach Igor Kolakovic said after the game, FIVB reported.
Brazil Captain Bruno Rezende also said “It is not very different than maybe some traditional teams. We were playing against a strong team, we have known them for a long time. They have really good players who play all over the world. We know everybody and how strong the Iranian team is. We try and have as much respect for them. We just try to focus on what we can of their setter, Marouf.”
Saeid Marouf is currently the best setter in the competition with an average of 8.04 per set. Also, Amir Ghafour is the event’s best scorer till now with 249 points; only Brazil’s Ricardo Lucarelli Souza has the opportunity to replace Ghafour at the top if he can score 56 points in the remaining two matches for Brazil.
Poland will face the reigning champion Russia and the United States will lock horns with Brazil in the semifinal matches on Sunday.
- source : Mehrnews