TEHRAN, Young Journalists Club (YJC) - On Wednesday evening, the Iranian outfit, which had brushed off the hosts in straight sets (25-19, 25-20 and 25-23) the previous day to earn itself a place in the final showdown, went down to the Qatari side 2-3 (25-23, 25-21, 22-25, 18-25 and 10-15) in an encounter at the University of Taipei (Tianmu) Gymnasium.
It was a tense encounter from the first set. Iran made a good start and advanced. It shook the Qatari defense from the serving line, and finally won the opener 25-23.
The young Iranian sportsmen kept on target in the second set and led from the beginning to the end for a 25-21 win.
The Qatari volleyball players, having lost two consecutive sets and seeing their hopes on the verge of collapse, struggled to rack up points as the match went into the third set.
At last, they found their rhythm coming back on track and took advantage of errors produced by their Iranian counterparts.
Both sides then traded blows as the clock ticked away before the Qatari squad proved steadier and took the set by 25 points to 22.
In the fourth set, Qatar maintained its fine form, advancing over Iran. It wrapped up the set 25-18.
The tie-breaker witnessed both sided coming out in all force to capture the crown, trading heavy blows from the first service. Qatar, however, managed to declare the end of the set at 15-10.
Captain Amir Hossein Esfandiar led the Iranian team with 20 points.
Earlier in the day, Japan had pulled off an epic come-from-behind 3-2 (21-25, 20-25, 32-30, 29-27 and 17-15) victory over Chinese Taipei, and grabbed the bronze medal.
Meanwhile, Gim-Myeonggwan from South Korea was named as the Most Valuable Player (MVP). He won the best setter award as well.
Rahman Taghizadeh from Iran won the best middle blocker award.
The 2018 Asian Men's Volleyball Cup started on August 8, and concluded on August 15, 2018.