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Iran Advances Into Finals

Iran, the only team which has not lost to any rivals yet, covered the court impressively and their resilience proved a bit too much for the opponents throughout the first two sets
The team celebrates a point.The team celebrates a point.

Iran U20 volleyball team stormed into the final showdown of the Asian U20 Volleyball Championship in an unbeaten run after beating Thailand 3-1 in the semifinals on Friday in Manama, Bahrain.

Iran, which won silver at the previous edition of the games two years ago in Taiwan, fielded seven players who lined up against a strong Thai squad which captured the world title at last year’s FIVB Men’s U19 Volleyball World Championship.

Young players from Iran overpowered their rival 3-1 (25-14, 25-18, 15-25, 25-14) to move a step closer to winning their sixth Asian title, Asianvolleyball.net wrote.

The victory earned Iran a place in the finals of the Asian Men’s U20 Championship for the third time in a row. It also guaranteed a slot at the 2019 FIVB Volleyball Men’s U21 World Championship

In 2014, Iran advanced to the final showdown in Manama and beat China for the Asian title. In 2016, China regained the lost pride after avenging the Iranians in the final clash in Taiwan.

Iran came up with quick play and powerful attacks by Morteza Sharifi foiling the Thai’s fightback efforts. Sharifi became a legionnaire in Italian Serie A Volleyball league two weeks ago, joining Verona with a one-year contract.

Iran, the only team which has not lost to any rivals yet, covered the court impressively and their resilience proved a bit too much for the opponents throughout the first two sets.

Thailand made a comeback after going down 0-2. Iran’s players were amazed by the impeccable Thai performance that could take the third set with power 25-15.

Iran came back and did not let Thailand step forward as it closed the fourth set 25-14.

“We entered this tournament to secure the world berth, that was our first goal. We will follow our next goal to be the champion,” Behrouz Ataei, Iran’s coach, said.

On their way to the semifinals, Iranians defeated China, South Korea, India, and Kazakhstan, all in straight set victories. In the other semifinal clash, South Korea proved too strong for Iraq to outclass the fast-improving rival in comfortable straight sets 25-17, 25-16, 25-22.

South Korea, which went down 0-3 to Iran in Pool A during the group stage, will again meet Iran, this time in the finals of the Asian Men’s U20 Volleyball Championship.

For the third place play-off match, Thailand faces Iraq for the bronze medal.

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