Tehran, Iran, July 2, 2016 – Italy led by Vettori and Juantorena smoothly beat Iran 3-0 (25-20, 25-20, 25-21) in Tehran on Saturday.
This is the eighth time Iran and Italy have clashed in the World League and the first time since 2014. Italy have won four of the previous seven World League meetings.
Both teams came out on the court looking confident, with Iran counting on the home support to carry them to a victory. Italy took an early lead 8-4 and Belgini called a time-out as the Iran narrowed the gap to 13-11. The visitors regained their four-point advantage at the second technical time-out. Italy take advantage of Iran's errors to close out the set 25-20. Iran came back to the match in the opening moments of the second set to galvanize the fans but could not hold on their lead for very long as Italy’s Osmany Juantorena made it even at 8-8. When Italy went 16-13 up Lozano called his players to remind them of the critical closing points. Three substitutions helped the home side reduce the margin to 20-19 but Italy’s Vettori helped his team hold on to their lead. The set also ended with 25-20 for Italy.
Lozano who felt concerned with his consecutive mistakes and the brilliant performance of Italy in the third set put substitues Mobasheri and Zarini on. Iran managed to build a 13-11 for Iran after trailing 8-4 at the first technical time-out. Belgini pushed the bell to call the players out to stop the flow of the match. Iran tried to make a comeback in the match but Zarini equalized at 14-14. A rare error by Zaytsev allowed Iran do save the first match point, but Mousavi put his serve out to finish the set 25-21.