Bosnia and Herzegovina vs. I R Iran for Gold – Again!

MATCH REPORT – Day 8 – Friday, September 16th

It’s a Bosnia and Herzegovina vs I R Iran final in men’s sitting volleyball!

For the 5th time in as many Paralympics, Bosnia and Herzegovina will face I R Iran for gold here at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.  Iran has been in the gold medal match in every Paralympic Games since 1988!

United States vs China (Men) – 7/8th position

USA and CHN both finished 4th in their respective pools and battled it out for 7th position in this match.

The teams competed for the lead swopping positions a couple of times before USA came out top 8-7. A solid block from CHN and then a series of block outs put them well in front 16-10. The USA tried working different options with quick balls in the middle and spreading sets wide to the pins. It showed how good CHN’s defence was that they could block the USA out and get the ball back so often. CHN won the set 25-15.

A double monster block from the USA and a great spike from Dee Marinko (USA) got them off to a good start, although it was not enough to take the lead and CHN topped the USA 8-6. Captain Xiaochao (CHN) capped off a good run of points by CHN with a great second touch to take CHN to 16-8. It was a confident set from CHN and they easily closed it out 25-16.

USA were struggling as CHN scored point after point in the 3rd set. Hui Gao (CHN) spiked for a body shot and CHN first led 8-4 and then 16-6. USA had lost their energy and solutions to the CHN onslaught. And then, there was a spark of fight with an amazing rally and defence and a couple of super-spikes, notably from Benjamin Aman (USA) and Roderick Green (USA). Mingfa Li (CHN) nailed the significant spike on match point to give CHN the set 25-17 and the match 3-0.

CHN secure 7th position in the Paralympics for men.

Benjamin Aman (USA) had fun with the crowd, getting them excited and cheering throughout the match. It resulted in welcome support for the USA in the game.

Top scorer was James Stuck with 7 points for the USA and Shuo Wang with 12 points for CHN. Hui Gao was top blocker for the match on 5 points. The fastest serve was from Li Mingfa at 64 km/h.

Final Score USA vs CHN 0-3 (15-25, 16-25, 17-25)

Germany vs Ukraine (Men) – 5th/6th place

It looked fairly even between the teams before the match, as both looked to claim 5th place in the Paralympics.

Teams traded heavy spikes before UKR pulled ahead 8-5 on GER errors. Denys Bytchenko (UKR) spiked, Rusian Horyakin (UKR) blocked out and then Oleksandr (UKR) monster blocked to give UKR a 16-11 lead. Barbaros Sayilir (GER) got a high spike off the UKR block and GER caught up briefly. A fantastic rally, block and spike from UKR gave them the set 25-21.

Bytchenko (UKR) super spiked at the beginning of the 2nd set. Jurgen Schrapp (GER) returned the spike with a headshot, though UKR led 8-5. GER went on a spiking spree, overtook UKR and then Heiko Wiesenthal (GER) aced to give GER the lead 16-10. Excellent defensive work and blocking from both teams as they fought to the final point. GER took set point 25-22.

It was very close in the 3rd set at GER were up 8-7. UKR gained confidence as Dmytro Melnyk aced and UKR led 16-13. Petrenchuk (UKR) head shot a GER player and seemed confident as they stretched ahead to a 25-19 win.

The level of competition increased in the 4th set as teams had everything to play for. It was big spikes and blocks as UKR led 8-6. Torben Schiewe (GER) got a good block which levelled GER 11 all and helped them on the way to 16-15. Melnyk (UKR) monster blocked after a hard fought rally and Bytchenko (UKR) put a dent in the floor with a spike that gave UKR a 2 point lead 23-21. It was not long before UKR took the set 25-23 and the match 3-1.

UKR took 5th place in the Paralympic competition for the men with GER in the 6th.

Top scorer for GER was Jurgen Schrapp with 17 points and for UKR, Denys Bytchenko with 21. The best blocker of the match was Oleksiy Kharlamov with 5 blocks.

Final Score GER vs UKR 1-3 (25-21, 22-25, 19-25, 23-25)

Egypt vs Bosnia and Herzegovina (Men’s) – Semi-Final

Egypt and BIH fought in this first men’s semi-final game for a chance at the Gold medal match.

Players traded points to the first technical timeout with EGY ahead at 8-7. A good serve and counter block combination from Elsayed Moussa and Ahmed Soliman kept EGY competitive. Mirzet Duran spiked and then aced to ensure BIH led 16-13. A super spike from Safet Alibasic (BIH) and a block extended BIH’s lead. EGY played very well but BIH secured the first set 25-23

Pressure serving from Duran gave BIH the advantage at the beginning of the 2nd set 8-6. There were some great plays from both teams including roll shots, tips and defensive pickups using feet. BIH led 16-11. Miss hits from EGY and aces from Sabahudin Delalic (BIH) and Duran (BIH) made it difficult for EGY to go any further in this set and BIH won 25-16.

Duran started BIH off in the 3rd set with a super spike and BIH kept the pressure up to top EGY 8-6. Top spiking from Alibasic and Adnan Kesmer left EGY struggling 9-16. BIH cruised through much of the set until EGY got a run of points at the end when BIH concentration lapsed. BIH finally closed out the set 25-20.

BIH now prepare themselves for the finals and the chance to win gold! EGY will contest in the 3rd place play-off for bronze.

Top scorer for EGY was Elsayed Moussa with 9 points (8 spikes, 1 block). Safet Alibasci was top scorer for BIH with 13 points (11 spikes, 2 blocks). Top blocker for the match was Asim Medic (BIH) with 4 blocks.

Final Score EGY – BIH 0-3 (23-25, 16-25, 20-25)

Brazil vs Iran (Men) Semi-Final

BRA battled IRI in this second semi-final men’s match to determine who will play Bosnia in the gold medal match.

First point to BRA and crowd goes wild. Morteza Mehrzadselakjani (IRI) is used early in the match and scores a headshot. Anderson da Silva (BRA) spiked back for BRA and points are traded. Sadegh Bigdeli (IRI) nails another headshot and IRI lead 8-7. Morteza monster blocked and IRI pulled ahead to 16-13 in this very competitive set. It was big blocking and Levi Gomes shuts down two heavy IRI hits in a row. IRI continued scoring to take the set 25-20.

IRI got off to a quick start in the 2nd set with a number of blocks to lead 8-1. Morteza super spiked and Captain Davoud Alipourian blocked BRA again. IRI were running away with the set and then Da Silva (BRA) blocked Morteza. BRA received a yellow card on contesting a point. IRI made handling and hitting errors and BRA narrowed the gap to 16-11. IRI clip the net to ace and BRA nail more big hits until IRI take the set 25-19.

The packed stadium were loving the volleyball action and, of course, were supporting BRA on every point.

IRI played quick middle balls to mix the game up and race to a 8-2 lead. Bigdeli (IRI) slid in from back court to make a powerful spike. Frederico de Souza (BRA) returned with a heavy strike and connected with an IRI body. At the 2nd technical timeout, IRI led 16-9. Morteza was striking well and Isa Zirahi (IRI) got two blocks so that IRI lengthened the gap. IRI took the final point on a miss-hit to win set 25-17 and the match 3-0.

Iran will now play Bosnia in the gold medal match on Sunday and Brazil will play Egypt for Bronze.

Top scorer for BRA was Anderson da Silva with 9 points (6 spikes, 2 blocks and 1 ace). Top scorer for IRI was Meisam Ali Pour with 18 points (11 spikes, 4 blocks, 3 blocks)

Final Score BRA vs IRI 0-3 (20-25, 19-25, 17-25)

Day 9 matches – Saturday, September 17th

16.30 BRA v UKR Women
19.00 CHN v USA Women

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