The first set started with a fierce battle between the two teams. World League debutants Iran went ahead 6-7, but good spiking by Dmitriy Muserskiy and Nikolay Pavlov allowed to gain one point margin by the first technical time-out. Soon the visitors regrouped and led 14-16. Olympic champions Russia were determined not to give up, fought back to draw level 21-21 and eventually closed the set 25-21.
The second set was an equal affair as Iran looked willing to gain a footing in this set with the score 7-8 by the first technical time-out. It was Evgeny Sivozhelez, who tied the score 12-12 and forced Julio Velasco take his first time-out. A double substitution in the Iranian team didn’t help to find the rhythm and the set was won by the Russians.
Russia started the third set with effective spiking and a time-out by Iran at 13-8 was useless as Russia continued to put pressure on the guests.
The two sides will meet again on Saturday at the same venue.
To read more news from this competition click on World League 2013 M.