KOCHI: Captain Mandeep Singh continued his fine run as India shocked Asian champion Iran 18-25, 25-17, 25-21, 25-19 and kept alive its hopes of entering the semifinals of the World Youth volleyball championship in Tijuana, Mexico.
With setter Balwinder Singh performing his role smartly, allrounder Mandeep scored 31 points while Lalit Kumar chipped in with 15 points.
India had lost 1-3 to Argentina in the second stage’s Group ‘E’ league opener but the stunning victory over Iran and Argentina’s 3-0 win over Brazil in the same pool should help the Asian runner-up in a big way.
“It was a do-or-die situation for us. Our captain played extraordinarily well and the others too performed according to expectations,” said a happy Indian coach Bir Singh Yadav.
India plays former six-time world champion Brazil in its last match of the group.
Argentina, with two wins from as many matches, is on top of the group with four.
India and Iran are in the second spot with three points (a win fetches two points and a loss one point), the latter enjoying a small advantage in the points ratio. The top two teams enter the semifinals.
Meanwhile, China (four points) heads Group ‘F’ after its 3-1 victory over France.