1153 GMT March 31, 2020
On Sunday night, In an all-Asian clash in the city of Brno, the Iranians cruised to a 3-0 (25-19, 25-20, 25-21) shutout of China with great contribution from middle blocker Ali-Asghar Mojarad, fivb.com reported.
Mojarad tallied five kill blocks for a total of 12 points, which made him the best scorer for Iran. He was topped only by China’s Jingyi Wang with 13 points.
China blocked really well in the first set, but not well enough to stop Amir-Hossein Esfandiar and his teammates on the way to a 25-19 win. While the Iranians improved their blocking in the second set, the Chinese committed far too many unforced errors. Closing the set at 25-20, Iran doubled its lead in the match.
Coach Behrouz Ataei’s squad stayed in control in the third set as well, despite a strong performance by Wang. Mojarad was unstoppable, contributing in both spiking and blocking, well assisted by sub-in Pouria Yali, who scored six points with 100 percent success rate in attack, including the last one that closed the match at 25-21.
Although missing on their target to be among the best four teams at the competition, the Iranians were happy with the next best thing – the fifth place.
“Our championship target was to enter the top four. We lost very sadly in five sets against Poland so afterwards, our goal was to take the fifth place. So I am really satisfied with the result and also with the fact, that we finished the tournament with a victory.” Ataei said after his side clinched the fifth spot.
Iran's captain, Rasoul Aqchehli was also pretty satisfied with his team's achievement at the tournament, saying: “My team and I are so happy to take the fifth place. It was a tough loss on Thursday, because we absolutely wanted to play in the semifinals. Congratulations to all my teammates for closing the championship with a victory.”
On the final day of the competition, Poland beat Cuba in straight sets (25-20, 25-10, 25-19) to claim the title. Russia also overcame Brazil 3-0 (25-16, 25-16, 25-19) to finish third in the third spot.