Iran and Poland will square off at the 2018 FIVB Men’s Volleyball World Championship in Varna, Bulgaria, on Monday in a fixture that could possibly decide the top spot of Pool D.
Both teams go into the game on the back of three consecutive victories.
Having beaten Porto Rico and Bulgaria, Iran outclassed Cuba 3-1 (17-25, 25-18, 25-22, 25-19) to secure a place in the second round of the competition.
Amir Ghafour led the scoring table for Iran with 14 points with Mohammad-Javad Manavinejad finishing with 13.
Osniel Melgarejo with his personal high at the championship – 22 points –topped the scoring for Cuba and Miguel Gutierrez added 15.
Iran head coach Igor Kolakovic hailed his team’s performance against a very tough opponent, saying, “We were afraid before the game because we knew that Cuba can play on a really high level. They are young and unexperienced, but they are physically very strong and that was their key in the first set I think.”
“Unfortunately we lost it but after that we calmed down, started to play more stably and put in more energy than in the first set. I think we deserved this victory and it was very important because now we have nine points and it is the best possible result after the three games played," the Montenegrin added.
Iran’s Seyyed Mohammad Mousavi was also delighted with the victory over Cubans.
“We are very satisfied whit this 3-1victory over Cuba. It feels great to beat such a well physically prepared and explosive team. When you play against a squad like Cuba, you have to be fully concentrated!” Mousavi said
“In the first set we probably were not focused enough and our opponent surprised us with very powerful serves. Then our coach told us that there was no time for distraction and it was time to start playing our game. Fortunately we managed to do it," the Iranian added.
As it stands in four groups, a victory over the 2014 world champion could give Iran a more favorable draw in the second round, avoiding fixtures against the likes of Brazil and USA.