Since the beginning of the tournament, the Poles have thrown out more competitors – they stumbled only in matches with Slovenia and Brazil. It was only a matter of time before he was promoted to the top four in the League of Nations. Winning with Iran means that the Red Whites can prepare for the semi-finals on Saturday before the final round of the main stage.
The beginning of the meeting was marked by a good performance by Alexander Iluka and successful actions by the Poles. Therefore, after the first four exchanges, Iranian coach Vladimir Elkno asked for some time. The famous Russian coach leads the Asian team in the Nations League for the first time, but so far he is not doing well. Iran has won only five matches and is far from the table. After a string of defeats against Poland, Alekno appointed a team based on young volleyball players, devoid of the biggest Iranian stars.
For example, lesser-known Polish volleyball players managed to repel the attack of Maciej Muzaj, but could not control the chaos on the field. They coped poorly with the attack – when Mertz Schreiffe was stopped at the net again, Poland were already leading 15-6. The opponents’ match in the first set looked so weak for so long that Pyotr Novakovsky nodded in disbelief. But unexpectedly, the Poles also fell into a spiral of errors: Bartosz Bednors made a mistake twice in the attack, and the rivals twice blocked the attacks of Mozag. Vital Heynen’s team was only 22-20 ahead, but then they scored three points and won the match.
The Belgian coach for the Polish team once again introduced six players who are completely different from that Argentina defeated on Monday. Aleukka and Bednors are back in the team a few days after the break, and Damian Wojciech, who was playing on Tuesday, hasn’t been on the field for long. During the tournament, Libero returned to Poland to meet his newborn son. The best of the three was Śliwka, who was the brightest character for the Polish team in Group A.
Jacob Kochanovsky, in turn, successfully started the second match, surprising his rivals by sending a serve. However, Piao Xeronica’s game level wasn’t the highest. They let themselves get sucked into the chaotic trade-offs and the Iranians won 6-5. It is true that the Poles quickly regained the lead, but there was no enthusiasm in their ranks from the previous matches .. Only in the second set the first point was scored .. Mozag seized the attack.
After a while, Poland was up 12-8, but the attacking team gave way to Łukasz Kaczmarek anyway. He scored quickly on the field with a good attack, but in the next action he also made a mistake and the equalizer again was 14-14. The Iranians presented themselves better in the lanes as Alkano sent Saeed Maarouf and Amir Ghafoor on the pitch – giving them a few minutes per set. The world champions proved their superiority only in the end, as Bednores showed himself well, with the exception of Kochanowski.
Meetings between Poles and Iranians were often filled with hidden tensions. The relationship with this opponent was also feared by Heynen, who did not like the fact that both teams had been on the same hotel floor since the start of the tournament in Rimini. This time there was no discussion between the two teams on the field, and Heinen left Michai Kubik out of the team, which had the most goals against the Iranians.
In the third set, the Poles finally dominated the chaos on the pitch for good. In the match, Oliyuki led 6-0. Perhaps he attacked Kaczmarek, who remained on the dance floor. The Iranians temporarily reduced their losses to three points after a mistake by Grzegorz Łomacz, but after a while Novakowski scored two points and Piao Zeroni won 13-6. The experienced middle of the line added a block to this point, after which Alkno asked for one last breath. Iran was losing by nine points at the time. In the end, Heynen won 25-16 – and Bednorz scored the last point with an atomic serve.
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The Poles will play the next match against Iran at the Olympic Games in Tokyo, where the two teams will meet in the group stage. But for now they will finish the main round in Rimini. Poland’s last opponent will be the France national team. The meeting starts on Wednesday at 15. Broadcast in Entrea, broadcast on Polsat Sport.
Poland: Muzaj, Kochanovsky, Alyuka, Chumash, Novakovsky, Bednors – Vojtašek (Libero) and Kachmarek, Fornal
Iran: Karimi, Mojarad, Esfandiar, Sharifi, Gholami, Saadat – Salehi (libero) oraz Marouf, Ghafour, Abedini
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