Iran's National Volleyball team became the second Pool D team to secure a place in the next round of FIVB Men’s World Championship after beating Belgium 3-1 (25-23, 25-15, 21-25, 25-20) Saturday evening.
"In some moments we were a bit lucky, but today we played better than the last game," Slobodan Kovac said.
Iran got pumped up with a total of 16 killing blocks, with Seyyed Mohammad Mousavi adding five of them in a total of 12 points and setter Saeid Marouf blocking four times. The scoring department was topped by Farhad Ghaemi and Mojtaba Mirzajanpour, with 13 points apiece, but Belgium’s Sam Deroo was the most prolific scorer overall, with 15 conquests.
"We didn't start well, but we won. I'm happy that our game looked much better than against France," Iran's coach continued.
"We won't need extra motivation for Sunday's game against Puerto Rico, even being already into the next phase, because every victory gives my team more confidence and we need that for next opponents," he stressed.
It was just the second Iran-Belgium match at FIVB World Championship.
"We had hopes to get at least one point today, it would have been another match if we had won that first set, but it doesn't matter now. A positive point is being able to get back in the third set, but at the end they were stronger than us," Belgians' coach Dominique Baeyens said.
"Sometimes individual performances can make the difference, but we can't find that in our team. It's my job now to make clear to my players that we have to fight and do everything to beat France," the Belgium coach added.
Before Iran's victory, the US who won the 2014 World league championship just two months ago, were overpowered by France 3-1 (19-25, 25-17, 25-15 and 25-21) in the first match on Saturday.
In the last Group D match on Saturday Puerto Rico in a unforgettable game brought down Italy 3-1 (19-25, 25-19, 25-23, 25-22) for their first win in Poland.
After the Saturday matches, France kept their top spot in Group D with 10 points from their four matches followed by Iran (8 points), the US (6 points), Italy (5 points), Belgium (4 points) and Puerto Rico (3 point).
Iran's last match will be against the Puerto Ricans on Sunday afternoon.
Iran had earlier in the tournament defeated two volleyball powerhouses. On their first match, they defeated Italy 3-1 (25-16, 23-25, 25-21 and 25-22), and then overpowered the US 3-2 (25-23, 25-19, 19-25, 18-25 and 17-15).
The Asian champions were overpowered by France 3-1 (25-18, 14-25, 25-19 and 29-27) in their third match on Thursday.
The 2014 FIVB Volleyball Men's World Championship matches are underway in Poland from August 30 to September 21, 2014.
Hosts Poland, Argentina and Serbia from Pool A, Three-time defending champions Brazil and Germany from Pool B, Olympic champions Russia, Bulgaria, Canada and China advanced from Pool C and France, Iran from Pool D have booked their spots for the next round of the competition.
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