Tehran, Iran, July 1, 2016 – A stunning all-round performance by Seyed Mohammad Mousavi, who scored 17 points for Iran, broke Serbia's winning streak by contributing to a 3-2 (16-25, 22-25, 25-22, 25-23, 16-14) victory over the southern European opponent.
Mousavi impressed with 8 blocking points while Marko Ivovic was the best scorer with 19 points for Serbia.
With this victory, Iran re-balanced the World League head-to-head record with Serbia with each team having won twice against the other.
In the first set, the good performance of Seyed Mohammad Mousavi could not make up the mistakes made by Iran team and Serbia led 8-5. Although Serbia had practically qualified to the final six, they came to Tehran with all their powers to stay unbeaten. This is why Iran could no more process the power serves of Aleksandar Atanasijevic and lost by 18-25.
Lozano did his attempt to change the plan as some substitutions were made. Mobasheri came in to assist the team after Serbia was in the lead at the first technical time-out. The difference was reduced down to one point at the second technical time out. The home crowd went ecstatic as Zarini leveled it at 20-20 for. It was by no means a lone hand from him, with captain Marouf and also Ebadi enjoying a big night out.
The Iranian players who decided not to be ashamed of home fans came back in the third set and managed to dominate the play by changing mentality. Mousavi led the team to 3-2 as Serbia maintained the power in a breathtaking rally. Mirzajanpour brought hope back to the home team by leveling the score at 7-7. The shot were long enough to lose the sight. Finally Marouf downed Serbia for 11-10 and a rigorous moment tore any trace of fighting mentality on the Serbian side and Iran lead by 16-13 for the first time. The substitute players of Serbia were called on as Uros Kovacevic was in to annul the plans of Raul Lozano. It worked not so well. Nikola Grbic called time-out as Serbia were down 22-24 to stop Iran to take the last point but finally Mousavi closed the set at 25-22.
In the fourth set Iran led by 8-7 and points were exchanged towards the 16-15 at the second technical time-out. Grbic changed the libero and Majstrovic equalized and again the set went on point for point. When they were 20-22 down, Serbia called a time-out, but no working plan was found and the Serbs were disappointed as Iran closed the set at 25-23.
Iran stepped into the court with an improving confidence and clinched the opening points but it was Serbia that took the lead by 8-6. Iran turned things around for 11-9 and a time-out was inevitable for Grbic. It worked and Serbia made it equal at 11-11. Iran led on as the fans were on the edge of their seats waiting to see the final decisive point. Finally the camera recorded the winning score 16-14 in favour of Iran.