Source: Press TV
Iran's national volleyball team has suffered its second straight-sets loss against Italy in the 2014 Federation Internationale de Volleyball (FIVB) World League. On Sunday, the Azzurri picked up another home victory over the Iranian squad and won the match played at Verona's Pala Olimpia sports hall in consecutive sets (27-25, 25-18, 25-22).
A scene of the match between Iran and Italy volleyball teams
The home side opened the game in a very convincing fashion, remaining consistent and taking an early lead. Italy counted on its home fans while the 1,000 Iranian fans that had came to cheer for their visiting team helped drive the visitors.
The Iranian volleyball players could eventually establish themselves and bring the game under control.
A block by Iran's blocker Sharam Mahmoudi followed by an ace from Adel Gholami built the foundation for the comeback and Iranians took the lead at 17-18.
Both teams fought closely afterwards, and Italy's 25-year-old Ivan Zaytsev helped his side draw level at 21-21. A serve from Milad Ebadipour later took Iran two points ahead.
Italy finally managed to recover from the pressure that the Iranian side was applying, and won the set 27-25.
The brisk pace of the match continued into the second set, and Iran's force saw the hosts slip behind the visiting team. However, the Italians could recover and went into the first technical timeout 8-6.
Moments later, Italy relinquished the lead again and Iran widened the gap to 14-9. But, the Italians' excellent service game helped them to secure the second set and clinch it 25-18.
The third set remained close as Italy sought to seize the lead. Iran, in return, refused to drop off and the match gained momentum before the game was stopped for two minutes due to a challenge placed by Iran's coach Slobodan Kovac.
The break rather took the wind out of the Italians' sails and Iran leveled the score at 7-7.
A mistake from Iran's Mahmoudi and an ace from Zaytsev moved Italy up at 22-18, before a block-out from Jiri Kovar sealed the win.
Iran will face Brazil on Friday at Sao Paulo's Ginasio Ibirapuera sports hall in its third 2014 FIVB World League clash.
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