Source: JameJam; photos by Mohammadreza Abbasi, Mehr News Agency
Iran secured an historic spot in the 2013 FIVB World League after defeating Japan 3-0 in Tehran on Sunday in the second leg of a two-match qualification series.
World No. 14 Iran won three consecutive sets 25-16, 25-17, and 25-21 to consolidate for the first time ever its place on the list of those countries which have qualified for the World League, according to the International Volleyball Federation.
This made Iran the 26th country to qualify for the World League in what will be the 24th edition of the annual event next year.
Iran which won the first leg in convincing fashion (25-19, 25-14, and 25-23) on Friday only needed to win a set or have a superior points ratio to win a berth in the World League for the first time.
Sunday's game was played in front of more than 15,000 fans. Celebrations in the Azadi hall hit fever pitch when Iran won the first set.
It was Iran's sixth successive win against world No. 19 Japan dating back to last year.
The World League qualification process allows two teams the opportunity to play off for the right to play in the annual men's competition. The bottom two teams of the previous edition had to defend their places.
Last weekend, Portugal, who finished 16th, lost to the Netherlands -who had earlier beaten the Dominican Republic in a first-round playoff- in two thrilling five set encounters in Rotterdam to return to the World League for the first time since 2010.
Iran beat Egypt in their first-round encounter.
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