IRAN: Mostafavand, Marouflakrani, Ghaemi 6, Mousavi 6, Fazayi, Zarif (libero), Gholami 2, Ghafour 8, Mirzajanpour 2, Mahdavi 2, Alizadeh (libero), Tashakori 1, Ghara 5, Ebadipour 6. Coach: Slobodan Kovač.
ITALY: Kovar, Parodi 10, Vettori, Rossini (libero), Zaytsev 14, Lanza 10, Buti 7, Travica 3, Piano, Birarelli, Baranowicz, Giovi, Anzani 8, Randazzo. Coach: Mauro Berruto.
The first set
Italy opened match for the 3rd place in a very strong way. Ivan Zaytsev was showing his real potential and his team came to the early lead of 8-4. Iran was making many mistakes, and in that moments the lead increased to +5 (10-5). But, after a good block by Gholami and some mistakes of Italy, Iran made souple of points in a row and the result was 14-12.
Parodi scored ace point for the lead of 16-12 on the second TTO. but Iranians continued to fight for every ball and it paid off. It was only 19-18 for Azzurri… Berruto was forced to call a time-out. And that pause came in the right moment for Italians. They scored three in a row (22-18) thanks to excellent play of Zaytsev-Buti tandem. The only thing which Iran managed to do until the end was to come close to 24-22, but Italy won the next point and therefore the first set – 25-22.
The second set
We can say that the second set was close only until the first TTO. Italy went on a break with +1 (8-7), but then made four in a row for 12-7! On the second TTO Azzurri had 16-13 and again returned on court in a much better shape than the opponent. After great play of Travica, who left Simone Parodi without block, Italy was up ahead by 6 (20-14)… Soon after Ivan Zaytsev once again made the final point for 25-18.
The third set
It was obvious that Italians were very motivated to win this match in front of 7500 home fans, but it was like two previous sets made them relax a bit. Iran used that to gain an opening lead (8-5), and kept it until 15-12. But, it was only a metter of time when Azzurri will wake up.
With three consecutive points they equalized on 15-15 and after a mistake mistake of Ghara, Italians took the lead (16-15). And they did not lose it until the end! Berruto’s squad continued to bulid an advantage (19-16), and then performed a routine finishing. Icing on the cake was the last point when Dragan Travica just lowered the ball for 25-22!
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