Ardabil, Iran, June 22, 2019 - Amir Ghafour scored 16 points to lead Iran to victory against Australia in the 2019 FIVB Volleyball Nations League on Saturday. Earlier in the day in Pool 15, France defeated Portugal in three sets.
France - Portugal (June 22, 2019)
- France and Portugal will meet for the fifth time in a world level major competition. France won three of the four previous matches.
- World level major competitions are: FIVB Volleyball Nations League, Olympic Games, World Championship, World Cup, World League and Grand Champions Cup.
- All four previous encounters between these teams at major world level tournaments were in the 1999 World League. Portugal won the first meeting in five sets, before France won 3-1, 3-0 and 3-1.
- France began the 2019 Volleyball Nations League with five consecutive victories. They lost three of their five matches in the tournament since.
France (3) are one short of equalling their total number of defeats in the 2018 VNL (4).
- Jean Patry (92) is France's leading points scorer in the 2019 VNL. He amassed 98 points in last year's VNL preliminary round.
- Trevor Clevenot (18) and Stephen Boyer (16) both reached double figures in points in France's opening VNL match of week four (straight sets win against Australia).
- Portugal won only two of their 10 matches in the 2019 Volleyball Nations League, 3-1 against Bulgaria on 2 June and 3-0 versus China on 14 June.
- Of Portugal's eight defeats in the 2019 VNL, five were in straight sets. The 2012 World League (6) was the most recent major tournament they suffered more straight-set losses.
- Brothers Alexandre Ferreira (114) and Marco Ferreira (110) are Portugal's two leading points scorers in the 2019 VNL. Filip Cveticanin (70) is third.
Iran - Australia (June 22, 2019)
- Iran and Australia will meet for the fourth time in a world level major tournament. Iran won two of the previous three matches.
World level major competitions are: FIVB Volleyball Nations League, Olympic Games, World Championship, World Cup, World League and Grand Champions Cup.
- In 2014, Iran defeated Australia 3-1 at the World Championship. They also won in straight-sets at the VNL last year.
- Australia beat Iran in straight sets at the 2015 World Cup.
- Iran won 12 of their last 13 FIVB Volleyball Nations League matches, with the only exception in this run a 3-2 defeat against Brazil on 7 June 2019.
- Iran have equalled their longest VNL winning streak - also six in a row from June 2018 to June 2019.
- Iran's nine wins in the 2019 VNL is already a team record for most victories in a single world level major tournament.
- With Seyed Mohammad Mousavi Eraghi (0.59 stuff block average per set) and Mir Saeid Marouflakrani (8.81 set average per set), Iran have two players among the top players in those respective categories.
- Amir Ghafour is among the 2019 VNL top scorers with 166 points and among the tournament's most successful spikers (57.36% success rate).
- Australia lost 12 of their last 13 matches in the FIVB Volleyball Nations League, with the only exception in this run a 3-0 victory against Germany on 9 June 2019.
- Australia have lost nine matches in the 2019 VNL. In the full preliminary round of the 2018 VNL, they lost 10 matches.
- Lincoln Alexander Williams is Australia's top scorer on 120 points. He is the only Australian player to have scored a century of points this VNL campaign (Luke Smith 99).
- Lincoln Alexander Williams has already overtaken the 2018 VNL total of Jordan Richards (118), Australia's top scorer in the tournament last year.