AVC Boy’s U19 Champ; Iran In chase of Supremacy with win against Bangladesh
Reigning champions Iran came out in full force to brush off Bangladesh in completely one-side battle 25-11 25-12 25-13 to end their first-round Pool B campaign in second place at the SMM 11th Asian Boys’ U19 Volleyball Championship at the Wunna Theikdi Indoor Stadium Hall B on Thursday.
Defending and seven-time champions Iran suffered their first loss at the hands of Korea in their first match on Wednesday, but still made use of the similar line-up including powerful Morteza Sharifi and the 205cm-tall Mahdi Jelveh Ghaziani in their encounter against unfancied Bangladesh. Comfortably taking the first two sets 25-11 25-12, Iran continued their great show in the third set, which they won easily 25-13.
Morteza Sharifi scored a team-high 19 points including 15 kills and 4 ace serves, while Mohammad Islam led Bangladesh with 6 points including 5 kills, while Hossan SK Ismile added with 6 points from ace spikes.
After the match, Iran’s head coach Mohammad Vakili said, “It’s our first win in this tournament. This match is very important for us. If we lost, we crashed out from the top eight and will instead play in the 9th-11th classification. My target is just to beat Bangladesh because we could not lose again since we had already lost to Korea. A loss to China in the playoffs is not important because we can come back to play again in the round and keep our title defence dream alive, but here if we went down to Bangladesh, we will lose our title. However, I think that Bangladesh are still second to our team. They are not in high-level despite the fact that they played this match much better than their previous match against Korea.”
Iran finished second in Pool B with three points from one win against one loss, while winless Bangladesh came in third place, relegated to the 9th-11th classification round. Korea, which completed their first-round campaign on Wednesday, stole the show with two straight wins to top Pool B.