BRAZIL: Bruno 1, Eder 9, Wallace 6, Santos, Vissotto 8, Murilo, Lucarelli 17, Araujo, Bonatto, Saatkamp 11, Pedreira (libero), Raphael 1, Souza, Loh 12. Coach: Bernardo Rezende.
IRAN: Mostafavand, Marouflakrani5 , Ghaemi 7, Mousavi 8, Fazayi, Zarif (libero), Gholami 6, Ghafour 23, Mirzajanpour 14, Mahdavi, Alizadeh (libero), Tashakori 5, Ghara, Ebadipour . Coach: Slobodan Kovač.
The first set
Interesting decision of coach Rezende – he decided to start the match with Eduardo as a receiver. The result was tight until 5-5 and then Brazilians went to the first technical time out with the lead 8-5. But Iran didn’t surrender. Squad of Slobodan Kovac was slowly decreasing the deficite and even had an advantage on the second TTO (15-16). However, it was time for another Brazilian run. They made four in a row for another lead 19-16.
It was 20-18, Iran scored for 20-19 and then Gholami took the ball to serve… He served five consecutive times, he won five consecutive points (20-24). Iran used the second set ball for the lead 1-0 in sets.
The second set
The same story continued in the second set. It was all tied until 7-7, while Iran was up ahead by one on the first TTO. Iran was in a good rhytm. Squad of Slobodan Kovac increased the lead to 12-9 and then to 15-12.
They were keeping the three point lead (15-18, 17-20, 19-22). Rezende called a time-out to try something in the finnish of the se but nothing has changed. Iran has won the set by 25-22 and was one set away from semifinal and first place in Pool.
The third set
Once again the teams played tight game at the beginning of the set. After 7-6 for Brazil Iran got two points in row for 7-8 on the first TTO. Short pause suited Brazilians who made a total turnaround and gained +3 advantage (14-11). Rezende’s squad continued in same manner and reached four set balls (24-20).
But, with Marouf on the serve, Iran score three points in a row and came close to only -1 (24-23). But that was all. With a strong spike Wallace won a point for Brazil and finished the set.
The fourth set
It was Brazil, who started better. Yellow and green had +1 at the first TTO (8-7) and a bit later +3 (13-10). But persistant Iranians quickly equalized on 14-14.
Brazil won two following points (16-14) and kept that point difference until 19-17. But it was far from over. Iran tied the score at 19:19 and took the lead after Mirzajanpour’s spike (21-20). The next point also belonged to Kovac’s side 22-20. Brazil had the answer (22-22).
The rest of the match will enter history books of Iranian volleyball. Iran missed one match point (24-23), then Brazil failed to score two set balls (25-24, 26-25)…
And then it was time for the big Iranian celebration! Vissotto’s mistake gave them the second match ball and Ghafour converted it into a 28-26!
Iran goes to semifinals from the first place of the Pool.
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