A straight-set victory over the Czech Republic sealed Iran’s place at the last eight of the 2019 FIVB Men’s U21 World Championship in Manama, Bahrain.
On Saturday, Behrouz Ataei’s men overcame the European side 29-27, 25-18, 26-24 to finish second in Group C of the competition, following Russia.
Pouria Yali topped the scoring for Iran with 20 points with Morteza Sharifi and Mehran Feyz-Emamdoust adding 10pts apiece to Iran’s tally.
Marek Sotola Chipped in 17 points for the Czech Republic with Lukas Vasina scoring 12.
“We did very well in the match. We knew it would be a tough game because both teams needed to win to go to the next round. Our team played better today. Now we are in the top eight and we want to go to the semifinals,” said Ataei after the Saturday’s victory.
“We are here to win a medal. Two years ago, we finished fifth in the Czech Republic. Iran has only won a bronze at the under-21 level – in Morocco in 2007 – and now it’s time to win a medal and hopefully win the title,” the Iranian added.
“We have star players like Sharifi and (Amirhossein) Esfandiar who trained in the senior team and did not have enough preparation with us, which was one of our problems prior to the tournament.”
Iran had overcome Tunisia in three sets in its opener before falling down to a five-set defeat against Russia on Friday.