Poland claimed a four set victory against Iran 3-1 (21:25, 25:18, 25:20, 25:22) just a day after defeating Brazil at tie break. With this victory Poland are qualified for the semifinals of the 2019 FIVB Volleyball Nations League on Saturday, while Iran and Brazil will play on Friday for the second semifinal berth up for grabs in the pool.
Recall that Iran finished second to Brazil in the Preliminary Round, claiming 12 victories in 15 matches, losing to three teams Brazil, France and USA which are present at the Finals in Chicago.
In this match Amir Ghafour was the top scorer for Iran with 28 points while Bartosz Bednorz scored 24 on the winning side and Lukasz Kaczmarek also contributed with 21 and Norbert Huber scored 5 winning blocks.
Poland head coach Vital Heynen: “I think the first set we were not blocking and defending. Our best weapon is block defense. If you don’t block defense, we can’t win. A lot of teams can’t win without block defense. During the match we got better and better. We started to control their spiking and you see a different game. It is crazy. Yesterday we played five sets and we should be the physically weaker one. But we showed to be the stronger one. The longer we played the better we got.”
Poland head coach Vital Heynen: On what it means for the programme to reach the semifinals: “I have problems. They make me problems. I don’t know how to solve it. So I will tell them in the dressing room. So now guys, you solve my problems. I will make it up to them for solving them.”
Poland captain Karol Klos: “It is an incredible feeling because we are fighting with the heart. I think today was even harder than yesterday because less power, less energy. But still all 14 players helped us a lot. We broke them because it was 2-1 and we go for it all. We are for sure first and in the semifinals. I think that is an incredible score for us, but we want more.”
Poland captain on gaining fire after the red card in the third set: “It is funny because yesterday we also had a red card and scored a few points right away. Today was the same story. Red card and we started playing again.”
2019 FIVB Volleyball Nations League, Final Six:
Poland – Iran 3-1 (21:25, 25:18, 25:20, 25:22)
Russia – France 3-0 (25:16, 25:23, 25:17)
Source and Photos: volleyball.world