2021 VNL: Plucky Iran lose to powerhouses Russia

May 29, 2021 - 16:44

TEHRAN – Brave Iran volleyball team were defeated against Russia in Week 2 of 2021 Volleyball Nations League (VNL) on Saturday.

Iran lost to strong Russia 3-1 (25-17, 25-20, 25-20,25-17) in Rimini, Emilia-Romagna, Italy.

Mikhaylov Maxim was top scorer of the match with 22 points, while Saber Kazemi scored 18 points.

Vladimir Alekno fielded the Iranian young players including Saber Kazemi, Bardia Saadat, Aliasghar Mojarrad and Amirhossein Esfandiar to earn experience for the upcoming competition.

“We knew that we had to expect a tough game, because we were supposed to play against Russia, one of the best teams in the world. They were really good, they were better than us, especially in the physical aspects of the match,” Iran captain Milad Ebadipour said.

“I have to praise our young players, because they played really well. They pushed a lot and I think the Russians could feel it. Of course, we could have won this game, but we made some small mistakes during the match,” he added.

Iran had lost to Japan 3-0 on the first day of the tournament.

The Persians are scheduled to meet Netherlands on Sunday.

A total of 32 of the world’s top national teams have joined the VNL 2021 bubble in Rimini, Italy to showcase electrifying volleyball action for millions of fans worldwide.

The 16-team tournament began with a round-robin phase where each side will play 15 games.

The third edition of the competition is being held from May 28 to June 27 in Rimini, Italy.

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