Amir Ghafour were one of the players who stepped up on offence for Iran to defeat Venezuela in straight sets in the first round of the FIVB Volleyball Men's World Cup at Hamamatsu Arena on Thursday
Amir Ghafour led Iran with 13 points, and Seyed Mohammad Mousavi and Mojtaba Mirzanjapour added 12 and 10 points, respectively. Kervin Pinerua, who was the lone bright spot in the Venezuelan offence, finished with 10 markers
Iran had an active start to open the match with a 3-0 advantage, then Venezuela reduced the lead 4-3 from strong spikes by Kervin Pinerua and Fernando Gonzalez. Iranian setter Mir Saied Marouflakrani then got his five hitters involved, scoring at least a point before the first technical timeout. Iran kept their intensity throughout the set until they clinched it 25-20 from a quick middle hit by Seyed Mohammad Mousavi.
While Pinerua continued to play well for Venezuela, Ghafour led the Iranian assault from the flanks that gave them a 16-11 advantage in the second set. Iran stretched their lead to seven points at 21-14, then finished off the set 25-17 as Venezuela’s two consecutive turnovers. Marouflakrani had excellent connection with his hitter Mousavi to gain a 7-3 lead in the third set. At this point, Mousavi is leading the Iranians in attacks and blocks. The Asian side had a dominating 19-9 run that gave coach Slobodan Kovac some freedom to use his other players, and secure set and match 25-15.