Some fantastic blocking effort, led by Osniel Lazaro Melgarejo, Jose Israel Masso and Marlon Yang, lay the foundation of Cuba’s first win in Pool E of the FIVB Volleyball Men’s U21 World Championship.
Cuba piled up as many as 17 kill blocks on the way to a 3-2 (25-22, 25-23, 19-25, 13:25, 15-8) victory over Iran’s fighting squad, with Melgarejo topping the overall scorers’ chart of the match with 20 points.
Cuba’s great blocking and fewer mistakes made up for Iran’s efficient spiking and led to a 25-22 win in the first set. This continued in the second set as the Caribbean team doubled their lead after 25-23. In the third set Iran were able to cope better with the Cuban blocking. With Shayan Shahsavand also chipping in with three aces, the Asian squad won the set by 25-19. Led by captain Rasoul Aghchehli, it was the Iranian blockers that made the big difference in the fourth set, which their team won by a landslide – 25-13. The tie-breaker was also one-sided, but Cuba’s way. With Melgarejo on fire, the Cubans broke way to a 15-8 win and stamped the victory.