0445 GMT January 28, 2020
Iran’s U-23 team outpowered China 3-1 (15-25, 25-17, 25-23, 25-21) to claim the fifth spot at the 2017 Asian Senior Men’s Volleyball Championship in Indonesia.
On Tuesday, the two teams squared off in the city of Surabaya in a repeat of their Pool F encounter earlier in the tournament which had seen the Far Eastern side emerge victorious in straight sets.
Having clinched the first set 25-15, China seemed to be on course to taste another victory over Iran.
Iranian volleyballers, however, bounced back in the second set and won it 25-17, after they had headed into the technical timeouts leading 8-6 and 16-12.
The third set turned out to be a point-for-point thriller which eventually finished 25-23 in Iran’s favor.
In the fourth set, Chinese players put their last-ditch efforts to take the game into the tie-break as the Iranians had to overcome a three-point deficit to get back on the level terms at 14-14. Juan Manuel Cichello’s team was the better team through the end of the set and managed to pull off a 25-21 victory.
After the game, Cichello hailed his team’s performance at the competition, saying, “We should be proud of these players because they are improving every day.
“We underestimated them in the first set but, thank god, we came back in the game and won it. From now on, we should only be concentrating on our main goal, which is capturing U-23 [world] championship.” added the Argentinian.
Next in line for Iran is the 2017 FIVB Volleyball Men's U23 World Championship which will start in the Egyptian capital of Cairo on August 18.