WL2017/Marouf thanks fans for their role in Iran’s victory
Tehran, Iran, 9 Jun, 2017 – Captain Saeid Marouf acknowledged the important role of playing in front of a home crowd after a narrow win against Belgium on Friday.
Saeid Marouf, captain of Iran: “It was a tough game as it was the first game at home. We were supposed to play against a team who won their two last matches and were at a better place in standing. In a tie-breaker match, the role of fans is so significant. People helped us to save our energy but it was not a great day for us. We played with 12 out of our 15 players who all helped the team. I am happy with the opening victory.
Igor Kolakovic, Coach of Iran: “It was a difficult match between Iran and Belgium. I respect the work of Heynen, the coach of Belgium. This year, Belgium improved a lot with him. They showed good performance and power. Today, I am so happy because we got the victory especially with the spectators who supported us. And also for the players who played with their heart at the court. In the first set, we played under pressure maybe because it was the first game at home. But, we got better at the other sets especially in the fifth set. In important moments, we kept calm. I am so happy because we made this victory.
Sam Deroo, Captain of Belgium: “It was a good game. Both sides played hard. Iran did a great job to change their play. They disturbed us with the support of their fans which was incredible. I think, this is the first time we are experiencing this atmosphere. It was a very nice victory for Iran. The game was close but they were better. Congratulation to the Iranian team.”
Vital Heynen, Coach of Belgium: “I have a problem which is how to change the nationality of an Iranian into a Belgian Because I wished I could change Marouf’s nationality into Belgian. Of course, we have a good setter in our team but playing against Marouf is so difficult. We tried to fight with him in the game But I did expect anything. He did a great job tonight. We had the control of the first set and then lost the concentration. Iran deserves to win. It was a pretty good match both for the fans and the players. I am happy with our performance, not completely but in general.”