Grand Champions Cup/ Iran Brushed off Japan 3-1
Osaka, Japan, September 16, 2017 – Amir Ghafour topped all scorers with 23 points that boosted Iran’s 3-1 (21-25, 25-19, 25-20, 25-14) win over Japan in the FIVB Volleyball Men’s World Grand Champions Cup at the Osaka Municipal Central Gymnasium on Saturday.
Ghafour had a solid performance from the attack line as he scored 21 spikes. He also helped out on defence with two stuff blocks. Iran had a total of 13 blocks, including Saman Faezi’s four and Seyed Mohammed Mousavi’s three. Issei Otake and Akihiro Yamauchi led Japan with 16 and 11 points, respectively.
Iran and Japan most recent meeting at world level was in 2016, when Iran beat Japan in four sets in the Olympic qualifier. In their third encounter at the World Grand Champions Cup, Iran won again with the same scoreline of 3-1 against Japan.
Japan played a fast-paced game against their Asian rivals Iran in the opening set. As Masahiro Yanagida struggled on offence, setter Naonobu Fujii set up masterful plays for his other hitters, which resulted to a brilliant 25-21 win. Iran countered with solid blocks and strong spikes that rewarded them with the win. By the third set, Iran already established their ground on offence and defence that made it difficult for Japan to overcome.
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