Iran’s campaign at the 2019 FIVB Volleyball World Cup started with a 3-1 defeat against Russia.
On Tuesday, Igor Kolakovic’s men, having lost the first two sets 21-25 and 18-25, took the third set 26-24 before falling to a 22-25 loss in the fourth.
Yaroslav Podlesnykh and Fedor Voronkov made the biggest contribution to the Russians’ victory with 14 and 11 points respectively.
Iranian wing-spiker Milad Ebadipour topped the game’s scoring with 16 points while Farhad Qaemi also had nine to his name.
“We were sleepy in the first two sets, with no concentration on our game,” said Kolakovic after the game.
“Russia was better than us in all aspects of the game, especially in service, and we didn’t find a way to solve the problems in the first two sets,” the Montenegrin added.
Iranian skipper Saied Marouf also said his side lacked “enough energy and team spirit to fight the Russians.”
Also on the first day of the competitions, the host team stunned the European giant Italy with a 3-0 (25-17, 25-19, 25-21) victory, while title favorites Poland and Brazil posted straight-sets victories over Tunisia and Canada.
Argentina was also among the first-day winners with a 3-2 triumph over USA.