Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, June 17, 2016 - Matthew Anderson stars with 23 points in a breathtaking match as USA comeback to beat Iran 3-1 (23-25, 25-13, 27-25 and 26-24) for the second round of FIVB World League pool B.
The American's came from behind to earn a deserved victory with Anderson's haul of 23 points crucial, whilst Iran's Shahram Mahmoudi battled in vain with 16 points for his side. Taylor Sander and David Lee's vital haul of four blocks at the net proved crucial too in their four set win.
Though USA hold the advantage in head to head at 3-2, it was Iran that had won their last two encounters and with both teams preparing for the Rio Olympics, they were looking to maintain or regain their momentum after there contrasting results on the opening weekend, with Iran looking to bounce back from defeat, whilst the USA went searching for another win in the World League.
The first set started as tough as expected. The Persians faced some hard times with reception, but Saeid Marouf fixed most of the broken passes. Shahram Mahmoudi was the main source of attack for Iran's whilst the USA counted on Anderson and Taylor Sander to keep them in the opening set as Iran began to edge in front. After a thrilling end, Iran got the set 25-23 to take a 1-0 lead.
USA started the second set with better service's, that resulted in more counter-attacking opportunities. David Lee through the middle and Anderson took USA to an outstanding performance that inflicted a 12 points advantage on the set. Russell Holmes scored and finished the set in USA's favor 25-13.
In the third set Iran improved the reception and the block. On the other side, Micah Christenson was inspired calling Aaron Russell and Anderson more often, and sometimes, performing some miraculous sets to earn points for his team. The Persians responded with their own good sequence of services and defensive blocks as Alireza Mobasheri and Adel Gholami helped Iran to get ahead on the board. Once again, Anderson showed why he is an excellent player and changed the game to turn it around as USA won the set by 27-25.
Team USA got back on court hoping to finish the match and though Iran endured for a while, the American block was a key factor to take them ahead on the board. Milad Ebadipur was the most efficient source of attack from the Persian side even though the defensive volume of USA's back line held firm. Anderson took the responsibility to lead his companions towards the victory, and despite a brief Iran fightback, It did not last long as Anderson decided the game and the match to USA, 26-24.
Video:United States v Iran - Group 1: 2016 FIVB Volleyball World League
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