TEHRAN (Dispatches) – Russia volleyball team has defeated Iran 3-0 (25-19, 25-23, 25-23) at the men's volleyball tournament of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
It was not as easy as the final score might suggest, with Russia having to fight back from 17-20 down in the third set, before tying at 21-21, breaking clear with an ace of Egor Kliuka on Purya Fayazi for 23-22 and taking the final point on an attacking error by Amir Ghafour.
Victor Poletaev was top scorer of the game with 19 points (two more than Ghafour) as Russia dominated play in all skills and also took advantage of a full set's-worth of points on Iranian unforced errors.
Russia joined USA, Poland and Argentina, who had qualified earlier on Sunday, plus Japan who had a spot by default as hosts in the 12-team lineup of Tokyo 2020. These leave two more tickets to be claimed by the end of Sunday's action.
Earlier on Sunday, Cuba mastered a 3-0 (21-18, 25-23, 25-22) win over Mexico with Jesus Herrera Jaime stringing up 26 points.
A further five teams will emerge in January from the Continental Olympic Qualifying Tournaments to complete the Tokyo 2020 line-up.
Iran should continue their qualification matches in Asia in order to find a spot in the Tokyo 20-20 Olympic Games.