Sat, 16 Oct 2021

CHIBA, Japan, Sept. 18 (Xinhua) -- Defending champion Iran saw off China 3-1 in the semifinals of the Asian Men's Volleyball Championship here on Saturday.

In a bid to reach its first final in 10 years, China lost 25-22, 17-25, 25-22, 25-17.

It was also Iran that defeated China in the final of the 2011 tournament.

Iran will now face Japan, who beat Chinese Taipei 25-16, 22-25, 25-21, 25-20.

China captain Jiang Chuan led his team with 15 points. Zhang Jingyin scored 14 points and Yu Yuantai added 10.

Iran's top scorer was Kazett Saber, who had a game-high 18 points.

"We had expected to fight all way to the final," said China head coach Wu Sheng. "But obviously Iran played much better than us. Our players are young and not confident enough."

The top two teams will qualify for the World Championship in Russia next year. China, now ranked 24th in the world and fifth in Asia, faces an uphill task to win enough ranking points to earn a place in the tournament.

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