Varna, Bulgaria, September 18 - Iran overcame Finland 48 years after both teams met for the first and only time in any major competition. As same as in the distant 1970, when Bulgaria hosted the World Championship again, The Asians won but this time the victory came in 5 sets 3-2 (25-19, 22-25, 23-25, 25-23, 15-12). So after this match Finland maintain fourth place in Pool D while Iran will know their standing just after the final group match between Bulgaria and Poland.
Igor Kolakovic, head coach of Iran: „It was a dramatic and nervous game because everybody expected us to win. It was difficult to get an easy victory against Finland. They played very well in defence and reception. They also showed some really great atacking actions through the middle. I am happy because some of our young players proved that they can play at such a high level. I am sorry for loosing a point but we were close to the defeat so it is the best possible end.”
Ali Shafiei, player of Iran: „It is good that we won. We are happy! We needed this victory despite the fact it came in five sets. It supposed to be 3-0 or 3-1 but the Finns played really well and they put us in trouble. Now it is time to start thinking about the next phase. We will see what will happen in the game between Poland and Bulgaria.I guess Poland will win tonight and we will face co-hosts again in Round 2.”
Tuomas Sammelvuo, head coach of Finland: “Today we were fighting for every ball. We missed our chance. The whole tournament brings our young players a lot of experience. We are proud of reaching the next round and this is a big achievment for us despite the tender age of the team. We had our noisy crowd again. We thank them for supporting us in any cases.”
Elviss Krastins, player of Finland: “I am disappointed! We had a big chance but we missed it. Everybody fought and gave his best but we lost. We are proud of our young team and our achievements so far. The organization of the tournament is perfect but it is not a surprise. This is a World Championship! We are happy to be here! Varna is great!”