Kooy hails Italy’s “best game”


Hiroshima, Japan, October 14, 2019 - Italy pulled off a sensational comeback from two sets down to beat Iran 3-2 (25-27, 27-29, 30-28, 25-17, 15-13) at the 2019 FIVB Volleyball Men’s World Cup on Monday, Dick Kooy racking up a game-high 28 points in a thrilling spectacle at Hiroshima Green Arena.

Italy coach Gianlorenzo Blengini: “I’m very happy with the win in this match, but it was a tough match and also a little bit of a strange match too. In the first two sets Italy had chances but we wasted them and Iran outdid us in many cases and won both sets. On the other hand, it looked like we had a low chance of winning the third set but we ended up winning it, so that was a bit strange as well. The fourth set was point by point with continuous attack and defence by both teams and we were able to bring the match into the fifth set, and then we were able to win in the end. Tomorrow we have another important match against a significant opponent, so we hope to show our strength in tomorrow’s match as well.”

Italy player Dick Kooy: “First of all, congratulations to Iran for the game they played today. But also compliments to our team and our staff, because I think this was the best game we’ve played at this tournament. Everybody who went in, everybody who went out, everybody helped our team to have this victory today. This was great for the atmosphere and for the mentality of this young team. This is only one step ahead, and now it will be nice to play tomorrow, a very big game, and it will be another challenge for us to perform at the highest level.”

Iran coach Igor Kolakovic: “First of all, congratulations to the Italian team for the victory. It was a really tough game. Maybe Italy deserved to win the first set, but for sure we deserved to win the third. But it was a really tough game and dramatic to the end. It was a really big game and congratulations again to my colleague for this victory.”

Iran captain Mir Saeid Marouflakrani: “I think everybody in the hall enjoyed watching the game because both teams fought for every point. It was a strange day in our sport - in the second set they had a chance to close the set and lost that chance; in the third set we had the chance to close the set and the match but we lost that chance. After that they started to serve strong and received much better than the first three sets. In the fifth set, the tie-break, it was 15-13. There’s nothing to say, just it was a good fight. Game number 10, again a tie-break, we’re so tired and don’t have a lot of players on the bench to help the team. It’s important that we tried our best. We were not lucky enough today but I think we are satisfied.”