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Iran Makes 10-Year Unbeaten Run Against South Korea

The team’s last defeat to South Korea came during the group stage round of 2008 Asian Confederation Games
Captain of the national volleyball team Saeid Marouf has welcomed the presence of young players next to him.Captain of the national volleyball team Saeid Marouf has welcomed the presence of young players next to him.

Iran volleyball team set a ten-year unbeaten run record in games against South Korea beating the team on Friday in the series of Volleyball Nations League at the Azadi Sports Complex in Tehran.

With the wind in their sails, Iran only lost the second set (27-25, 23-25, 25-22, 25-23), to the East Asian team as Iran manager Igor Kolakovic kept on sending young players in to rejuvenate the squad.

The team’s last defeat to South Korea came during the group stage round of 2008 Asian Confederation Games.

Captain of the national volleyball team Saeid Marouf has welcomed the presence of young players next to him harnessing the opponent in an international stage of the games, ISNA reported.

“I am pleased to see young players making their debut at Azadi,” said Marouf. “They both controlled their sensations and harnessed the opponent.”

Kolakovic’s tactic regarding rejuvenation of the team comes quite convincing as he sent young players as substitutes to play with experienced players such as Marouf and Milad Ebadipour to learn from them.

S. Korean head coach Kim Ho-chul admired Iran’s use of young players and said he sees bright future for them.

“Young Iranian players are of a high potential and showed an outstanding performance today,” said the Korean coach. “Having this sort of players, the future will be bright for Iran.”

As the policy has pros of making a new volleyball generation, cons are undeniable. Despite victory, team performance was not close to the expectations from the roster.

Weak responses to the services did not let Marouf operate offensive tactics over S. Korea. Servicing also had weaknesses allowing S. Koreans to do counterattacks using Iran balls.

 Strong Home Support

Volleyball fans have always backed the Iranian giants in clashes with foreign rivals. Fan support boosted the spirit of the team as captain Marouf devoted the match to the people.

“No official was at the pitch to watch the game,” said Marouf. “And we did it for the people. I didn’t expect fans to come, but they did to show us that they support us regardless of our results.”

S. Korean head coach Kim Ho-chul praised Iran for the fans as well saying, “It is hard to play in front of the Iran vociferous fans. It challenged us”.

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