Tehran, Iran, August 6, 2015 – A fired-up Iran joined Japan, Qatar and China to the semi-finals of the 18th Asian Senior Men’s Volleyball Championship following their exceptional 3-1 (25-20, 14-25, 25-18, 25-20) victory over Australia. In quest for the successive three titles on home soil, Iran set up a clash of the Titans against China, the only team yet losing a match in the top-flight competition, in the Friday’s do-to-die semi-finals. Australia were relegated to the 5th-8th playoff and are due to first take on Thailand.
Coach of Australia, Roberto Santilli: “Congratulations to Iran. They played better than us and this was evident. We are disappointed. Actually, we focussed on the final and tried to win this match, but our challenge was ended just in the quarter-finals. Of course, we cannot be happy with our performance and outcome in this match. Now, we have to fight for the fifth place. I think we should have accomplished something better.”
Captain of Australia, Thomas Edgar: “We came here with the goal of winning this championship, but in reality, we did not play well. I would like to give Iran the thumbs up. They came out playing well in front of their fans. I’m disappointed with myself and this result.”
Captain of Iran, Hamzeh Zarini: “I think, it was a difficult game. We started the first set very well when Australia made a lot of unforced errors. However, I think Edgar guided his team very well and appeared as a major force. We tried to keep the Australian tactics under our control. We played with consistency and concentration and eventually managed to accomplish our goal at the end.”
Coach of Iran, Peyman Akbari: “It was a very tough match. Although the Australians say they are disappointed, it was actually a difficult game for us as the Australians have the experience of playing in the World League, World Cup, World Championship and even the Olympic Games. As I said, after the match against Korea and the fact that we surrendered to our own errors, we played consistently in this match. In terms of the errors, I don’t really mean the players’ errors only. I myself may produced some errors. However, the fact is when we win, we win together and when we lose, we lose together. It’s interesting that Australia was better than us in blocking but we frustrated their attacking and sought opportunities in counter-attacking. We tried to reduce our individual errors and they have gradually been decreasing. I think, we played well and our attacks were on the right track.”