Friday September 17, 2021

Pakistan go down against defending champions Iran

September 15, 2021

KARACHI: Pakistan, already in quarter-finals with initial two wins, on Tuesday tasted a 0-3 defeat at the hands of defending champions Iran to finish second in Group B of the 21st Asian Men’s Senior Volleyball Championship at the Chiba Port Arena in Japan.

Following the outcome, Pakistan and Iran have been clubbed in Group F with Chinese Taipei and four-time champions South Korea in the quarter-finals league.

Iran, the world’s 11th best side, continued to show dominance as they won the first set against Pakistan 25-17. The Iranians then went on to secure wins in the second and third sets as well with 25-19 and 25-15 scorelines.

Nine-time champions Japan, Australia, China and Qatar will compete in Group E of the quarter-finals league.

These eight teams will engage with each other in their respective groups in the quarter-finals league in round robin system. The leading two sides from each pool will then make it to the semi-finals.

Pakistan Volleyball Federation (PVF) said that the Green-shirts played well against strong Iran. “Even though Pakistan lost today, they played much better than the previous two matches. The brigade played with great confidence and used its skills very well,” it added. “Iran are a very strong team, being champions of the last Asian Championship held in Iran in 2019 and ranked 11th in the world. Iran has developed volleyball as its top-ranked sport. It has made huge investments in this sport for the last 20 years,” the PVF observed. “Iran has been hiring the services of best coaches of the world by paying them heavily as the budget of Iran Volleyball Federation is more than Rs1 billion, which is more than the collective budget of Pakistan Sports Board which is meant for development of 40 sports,” the PVF said.

“We hope Pakistan will put in their best in the quarter-finals league. We have a young side and the team is learning with every match. Pakistan have improved a lot in their skill level in the last three months under the coaching of Iranian Rahman Mohammadirad. The players have great potential and have physical ability to go to the top with greater exposure and more international competitions. The PVF wants to pursue its dreams of qualifying for the Olympics. We expect the state will back us and so will the private sector,” the PVF statement said.

Thailand defeated Hong Kong 3-1 to finish third in Group B on Tuesday.

In Group A, Qatar blanked Bahrain 3-0 to finish second following leaders Japan. India tasted their third successive defeat when they were bulldozed by Japan 3-0.

In Group C, Australia won their third straight game when they beat former three-time champions China 3-2 to finish at the summit. This was the first loss for China and they ended as group runners-up. In the same group, Kuwait defeated Uzbekistan 3-1.

In Group D, Chinese Taipei defeated South Korea 3-1 to finish as the group leaders with nine points. Saudi Arabia defeated Kazakhstan 3-0 to finish third in the group with six points.

There will be a rest day on Wednesday (today) and the quarter-finals will begin on Thursday (tomorrow).

The remaining eight teams will be engaged in their own quarter-finals as they will be fighting for the 9th to 16th places.