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Volleyball: Iran defeats Brazil at FIVB World League, reaches semifinals


Report by Press TV; photos by Islamic Republic News Agency

Iran's volleyball team has advanced to the semifinals of the 2014 FIVB World League after beating nine-time world champion Brazil.

The Iranian team defeated Brazil 3-1 (25-22, 25-19, 23-25, 28-26) in a match in the Italian city of Florence on Friday, progressing to the semifinals of the event for the first time in its history.

Iranian players

Iran's Amir Ghafour became the match's top scorer with 23 points, followed by Brazil's Ricardo Lucarelli with 17 points.

"The others may be surprised, but for us this qualification is no surprise. We trained hard to win, we expected this result. We train to be champions, it's not enough yet but we are training for it," Ghafour said after the game.

Iran coach Slobodan Kovac, however, demanded more from his side despite the stunning victory, saying, "I'm angry because in the third set, the team didn't play as well as it should have - we were unfocused. But this is still a great result, and tomorrow we will try to beat whoever we find in front of us."

Iran was grouped with Brazil and Russia in the final round of the tournament. In its opener, Iran lost 3-2 to 2012 Olympic champion Russia, but topped the pool after winning Brazil.

Brazil went through to the semifinals in second place, following its 3-1 victory over Russia, and the Russian team was eliminated from the tournament.

The Iranian players will compete against the US team, while Brazil will take on eight-time world champion Italy later on Saturday.

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