Japan claim Asian derby
Rouen, France, May 27, 2018 – Japan claimed the Asian derby against Iran 3-1 (25-22, 30-28, 23-25, 25-23) thanks a commanding performance by Yuji Nishida in Sunday’s men’s 2018 Nations League clash.
Nishida was on top form as he guided his team with 21 points, 2 aces and one block on his own.
To edge out a solid Iranian side, Japan relied on a team performance as Masahiro Yanagida (17 points, including 3 aces), Tatsuya Fukuzawa (11 points), Akihiro Yamauchi (12 points) and Haku Ri (15 points) all managed double digits.
Amir Ghafour, who was Iran’s top scorer on 18 points against France on Friday, only managed to score six points against Japan. The opposite spike was on top form for this Asian derby, claiming 22 points (including 4 blocks), almost double the total of Seyed Mohammad Mousavi Eraghi (12).
Both teams stood at 1-1 after the opening two days of the competition: a win over Australia and a defeat against France. In this rematch of both the 2014 Asian Games final and the 2015 Asian Championship final, Iran, however, were the favorites, having won five of their last six encounters at world level major competitions with their Asian counterparts.