2016 Kabaddi World Cup :: Valiant Kenya positive after heroics against Iran - News

Valiant Kenya positive after heroics against Iran

12 October 2016

Kenya, against the odds on Tuesday night, produced a superb performance against mighty Iran. Although they suffered defeat in the end, the Kenyans can be rightfully applauded for their work rate, tackles and raids against an opponent that started as clear favourites. Despite the disappointment, the team led by David Mosambayi had many positives to take back from the game to improve their chances for a semi-final berth in the 2016 Kabaddi World Cup.

“We lost, but not by a big margin. I’m happy with the performance. Iran is a good team and we gave a good fight. If we continue playing this way, we will win the next few games,” said Atieno Oguta Laventer, Kenya’s coach, at the post-match media interaction. “Our boys gave them a run for their money. Even though the Iranian players were more skillful and their defence was strong, our boys also tried.”

One of the positives from the match was Kenya being awarded a point for keeping a final score difference of less than seven points (28-33). “We fought hard putting up a valiant display. I told the boys to go out there and have fun knowing that we have other matches to play. If we lose or win, we’ve got to keep our heads high,” he continued.

Looking ahead, the Kenyans are aware they can’t get carried away with their performance so far in the tournament. The coach also seemed to echo the sentiment: “The next match is a very important match against Thailand and it has to definitely be a win. We have to win the next few matches to proceed to the semis.”

Naderian Kianoush, on the other hand, felt it was his players’ grit which won the match. “Our players are prepared to face every situation. However, there was a lapse in concentration, but our players quickly got their act together and got the win,” the Iranian coach said.

Iran were missing a couple of key players for the Kenya game. “Our captain Meraj Sheykh is our best player, but unfortunately he was ill and needed some rest. Soleiman Pahlevani is injured,” Fazel Atrachali, who was available at the presser, confirmed. “We definitely missed them and we hope they recover and get back soon. Both players have an impact on the side, yet we somehow managed to win and didn’t let that affect our confidence.”

With Japan as their next hurdle, Iran will look to boost their confidence even further and learn from some of the mistakes they were guilty of committing during the Kenya game. That next match could very well turn out to be a crucial clash for the Iranians in the larger scheme of the 2016 Kabaddi World Cup.