Argentina and Belgium started their FIVB Volleyball U21 Men’s World Championship Pool C journey on a positive note, beating the teams of Morocco and Iran, respectively. While the Argentinians' win came after a clear domination by the South Americans, Belgium and Iran delivered a great show at the Pallazetto dello sport in Carbonia.
Belgium surprise defending champions Iran
Argentina outclass Morocco
Published 08:58, 23 Sep 2021
Argentina, 2019 U19 World Championship bronze medalists, entered the match against their opponents from Africa, Morocco, in a more stable manner and were able to maintain the same level throughout the whole match. The players coached by Martin Ariel Lopez outperformed their opponents on all counts - being more successful in attack (42 to 29), in blocking (six to three) and acing four times (while Morocco could record only one ace).
Argentina built up a comfortable point difference (16-10) in the first set and the domination in attack (19 to 10) was key to their success in this part. None of the two teams shined in blocking, as neither the Argentinians nor the Moroccans recorded a single stuff in this set. The players from South America continued dominating in the next set, but Morocco put up a fight in the third set, tying the score. However, it was not enough to turn things around. Morel Armoa from the winners' team topped the charts with 12 points to his name.
“We are very happy about this first victory. First matches are always difficult, but we managed to find our rhythm. Now all our focus is on the match against Iran. In the last set, Morocco showed better game, but it was important for us to find the right response to their performance, and we did,” Luciano Aloisi, setter of Argentina, said.
Belgium disappointed defending U21 world champions Iran in the first set, outperforming them in the different components. Iran, on the other hand, suffered finding their game and the Belgians seized more on their opponents’ errors. Seppe Rotty with six points caused the most trouble to the Iranians’ block-defence.
The next set was highlighted by a cat-and-mouse game, with Iran improving their performance thanks to better concentration to the detail. However, the Belgian team did not lose their focus either, and led again by Rotty got closer to bringing the surprise of the day in Pool C. Iran showed nerves of steel afterwards, taking the next two sets, but in the deciding fifth one, the Belgians found the right way to claim the victory.
As many as 21 blocks sealed the deal for the young Red Dragons, while Iran recorded only five. Ferre Reggers was above all, hammering as many as 24 points for his team’s win.
“We won this match thanks to our great team spirit. We had the match in our hands! In the third set, we were leading by a comfortable point difference, but afterwards they improved. I am happy that we could win after having lost a bit our rhythm. I am not so happy about my game, I didn’t start that well, but luckily, we don’t count only on individual players, but on the team,” Wout D'heer, captain and middle blocker of Belgium, told Volleyball World.