Sharifi, Esfandiar ignite in Iran's win over Argentina


Manama, Bahrain, July 22, 2019 – Iran outplayed a tough Argentina team in Pool F, claiming a 3-1 (25-19, 23-25, 25-22, 32-30) victory in the FIVB Volleyball Men’s U21 World Championship on Monday. 

Morteza Sharifi scored 24 points, with captain Amirhossein Esfandiar adding 23 more for Iran’s win at Isa Sport City. 

Argentina opposite Luciano Palonsky scored 27 points in the loss, but has breached the 100-point mark (107 points) after four matches in the competition. 

Also in Pool F, Italy defeated hosts Bahrain, 3-0 (25-10, 25-15, 25-13), to continue in the competition without dropping a set so far. Opposite Kristian Gamba led all scorers, charting 18 points for Italy’s fourth consecutive win. 

Brazil took 3-0 (28-26, 25-23, 25-21) against China, earlier in Pool E. The Brazilians initially found difficulty in the unorthodox attack patterns of the Chinese, and later resorted to service pressure to seize advantage in the match. The South American side succeeded with six service aces in the straight-sets win. 

Also in Pool E, Russia registered their fourth-straight win, after a 3-0 defeat of Korea (25-16, 25-13, 25-15). The European side led on all fronts (36 attacks, 10 blocks, eight service aces), with Maksim Sapozhkov scoring a match-high of 18 points. 

The second round continues on Tuesday with Pool E matches: Russia and Brazil play at 11:30; Korea and China at 14:00. Italy and Iran (16:30); and Bahrain and Argentina (19:00) will play in Pool F. All times local. The top two teams from Pools E and F will qualify for the semifinals, with the bottom two facing off in a playoff to be classified from fifth to eighth.

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