Iran has failed to defend its world title after losing to Serbia in a marathon final match of volleyball Youth World Championships. The Iranian squad had beaten Serbia 3-0 in the first round but Serbia proved to be a much tougher opponent in the final match after it claimed the first set 25-22.
Iran came back to take the second and third sets 25-20 25-17 but lost the fourth set 25-20.
The defending champions were at a loss when Serbia opened a two-point lead which it managed to widen throughout the fifth set to claim it 15-11.
Earlier Sunday, Argentina defeated Russia 3-0 (25-22 30-28 25-22) to stand in the third place.
"It was a real difficult match. We started well and more relaxed than the Iranians. In the second set we lost because Uros Kovacevic couldn't play anymore. We had great fear of losing the match. But in the fourth set we were back in the match and in the last set we didn't make any mistake. Dusan Petkovic who substituted Uros played a very good match," Milan Djuricic, coach of Serbia said in the post match news conference.
Aleksandar Atanasijevic, who was selected as the Most Valuable Player, paced the Serbian offense with 24 points while Vuk Milutinovic finished with 15 points including four blocks. Milan Peric added 14 and Nemanja Opacic contributed three aces and two blocks. Purya Fayazi topped Iran with 19 points and Amir Ghafour collected 16.
"I am happy today because my country has won the world championship. Of course I am also very sad because my boys didn't win. Both teams are very good and in a really high level. We knew that it will be a hard match. But the Serbians had better motivation today and were more aggressive and stronger. The least I can do is that I would like to congratulate my staff and players because they did a good job," Jovica Cvetkovic coach of Iran said
... Payvand News - 09/08/09 ... --