Iran Beats Sri Lanka 3-0

Iranian roster celebrate the victory with their fans.
Iranian roster celebrate the victory with their fans.

Iran U18 team gained a three straight-set victory over Sri Lanka at the Asian Men’s U18 Volleyball Championships at Poursharifi Gymnasium in Tabriz, East Azarbaijan Province, on Tuesday.

Bardia Sa’adat served up a treat and sent the home fans wild to help Iran secure another win and send Sri Lanka crashing 3-0 (25-21, 25-17, 25-13) Asian Volleyball Confederation website reported.

Sa’adat hit four aces in his total of 17 points and with Amin Khajeh-Khalili and Amir-Hossein Hemati hitting 11 and 9 points respectively, the Iranians had enough healthy contributions from all over the court to shoot down the Sri Lankans who came through a successful opening with three wins in the preliminary round.

The deserved victory in front of the fervent supporters means Reza Vakili’s side will still have the chance to try for the world ticket. Another triumph could see the team finish in the top four of the tournament.

Sri Lanka was flattened in the second and third sets but showed signs of quality in the opening set though losing it 25-21.

Milinda Ube Narayanage and Chamath Weerappulige finished with 11 points apiece but it was not enough to help Lanka finish the game with victory.

Iranian head coach Reza Vakili praised his men for rising to the occasion after their loss to Taiwan.

“My players were much motivated today and they have done their responsibility in the best possible way,” said Vakili. “In the first set, they played with emotion but step by step they found their rhythm and stayed focused.”

Despite the praise, he admitted that some age-related mistakes still exist. “Some of the mistakes are attributed to age and experience and there is no way to justify it. I try to work on their mentalities more,” Iran head coach said.

Iran beat Thailand 3-1 in its first game last Friday but suffered a 3-0 defeat against Taiwan the next day.

Despite its fourth place in the last series, Iran is the most decorated team in the continent with seven titles and one runner-up place.

Asian Volleyball Confederation along with the Iran Volleyball Federation have organized the biennial international tournament which will run through July 9.

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