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Tiebreaker Times

2024 VNL Season

Amin, Iran weather Nimir’s 37, eliminate Netherlands from VNL

Amin Esmaeilnezhad steered Iran to a second consecutive win in the 2024 FIVB Men’s Nations League, winning the battle against Nimir Abdel-Aziz and the Netherlands in four sets: 25-22, 22-25, 25-21, 20-25, 15-10 on Thursday at SM Mall of Asia Arena.

The Iranians rose to 2-8 and 15th place, displacing Turkey to last place at 1-9, while the Dutchmen slipped to 3-7 and out of contention for the tournament’s Top 8.

The 27-year-old opposite hitter from Malekan found help in the fifth and final set with captain Milad Ebadipour starting it off with two straight attacks.

Then 19-year-old sensation Poriya Hossein Khanzadeh delivered the killer blows, despite the huge fightback instigated by the Dutch captain.

In the end, though, it was still Amin who finished off the match that lasted more than two hours with the spike that sent his squad to match point.

VNL-2024-Amin-and-Nimir-1 Amin, Iran weather Nimir's 37, eliminate Netherlands from VNL 2024 VNL Season News Volleyball  - philippine sports news

“We don’t think we have a chance to qualify even for the Olympics, so I think we just want to finish the tournament strong and because we need the victory. The past two weeks have been tough for us, losing eight matches, but now I’m happy we got the win again,” said skipper and outside hitter Milad of the fight they showed in the past 24 hours.

“It’s tough playing the Netherlands without ample rest. I’m just happy that we got to finish these past two games with wins.”

The match would not have gone the distance if not for the opposing playmakers – Iran’s Mohammad Taher Vadi and the Netherlands’ Wessel Keemink and Silvester Meijs – who found their aces Amin and Nimir, respectively.

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The battle also boiled down to the supporting cast, as game-changers Morteza Sharifi for the Asian side and Wouter Ter Maat for the Europeans provided a breather to the stars.

However, it was Iran’s well-balanced attack that eventually emerged victorious at the end of the final whistle.

Amin and Poriya both flirted with a 30-point production, ending with 29 and 27 points, respectively, with the former getting 25 points from attacks, three blocks, and a service ace.

Meanwhile, the latter finished with 23 kills along with the same number of blocks and aces.

Iran will try to recover quickly as they face France (6-3) at 11:00 AM on Friday.

VNL-2024-Nimir-Abdel-Aziz-3 Amin, Iran weather Nimir's 37, eliminate Netherlands from VNL 2024 VNL Season News Volleyball  - philippine sports news

Nimir exploded for another 30-plus output with 37 points from 27 kills, one block, and a whopping nine aces.

Meanwhile, Maarten Van Garderen chipped in 17 markers in the losing cause.

The Netherlands will hope to bounce back from back-to-back defeats against Japan (6-3) later on the same day at 7:00 PM.

Grew to appreciate various sports from tennis to judo. True-maroon kiddo since the new millennium. Fanboy. Singer. Occasional sports writer.

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