Hiroshima, Japan, October 13, 2019 - Japan claimed a solid 3-1 (25-16, 26-28, 25-13, 25-21) win over Iran at the 2019 FIVB Volleyball Men’s World Cup on Sunday, spurred to victory by 23 points apiece from Yuki Ishikawa and Yuji Nishida at Hiroshima Green Arena.
Japan coach Yuichi Nakagaichi: “We were able to win the first set easily, and then lost the second set - I think this is becoming something of a trend of late. We have been losing all deuce sets, which doesn’t give me a good feeling. It looks like since the Asian Championship we are not really winning through in neck-and-neck situations. Today (captain Masahiro) Yanagida came on and disrupted service and had good passing, and then an unexpected mistake occurred and the set didn’t go our way. Mistakes like that cost us wins in the Asian Championship, and I think we have to be more solid in our final execution. In the first half our service was going swimmingly and our spikes were good. Here and there we suffered blocks, but throughout the match, apart from the set we lost, I would say we played good volleyball. As usual (Yuji) Nishida and (Yuki) Ishikawa showed solid performances today, but (Tatsuya) Fukuzawa’s service reception really kept the team going.”
Japan captain Masahiro Yanagida: “We had four wins in a row coming into this match and were in a good flow to meet the Asian powerhouse Iran. In the second set we lost in the way we did, and yet we were able to overcome the difficulties. I think this summarises the good flow we have had in this competition. We now have five wins in a row, which I believe is a new record, and that gives us good confidence. Also, yesterday many people were affected by the typhoon, so we feel very fortunate to be able to play volleyball. We are the national team of Japan, so as much as possible we wanted to battle here to give courage to the affected people. We hope to be able to fight in the remaining matches as well to continue to give courage to those affected.”
Iran coach Igor Kolakovic: “First of all, congratulations to Japan for the clear victory. It was a really nice performance by the Japan team, even though we didn’t start the game so strongly. In the end we won the second set, but today Japan showed some really nice volleyball, especially in their service, reception, and defence. It is so difficult to play against Japan if they play like this. I have been a coach of national teams since 2003 and have played a lot of games against Japan, but this is the first time I have seen Japan in this condition, and this performance was really unbelievable. Congratulations again. I can’t have any regrets about this loss because Japan tonight showed us really nice volleyball.”