Ahmedabad, Oct 17 (IANS) Poland ended title favourites Iran’s unbeaten run in the Kabaddi World Cup, upsetting the Asian giants 41-25 in a league clash at the TransStadia here on Monday.
The loss may also change the equations for the semi-finals. If Thailand beat Japan in their last game of Group B on Tuesday, they will replace Iran from the top of the table.
In such a scenario, Iran could end up playing Group A toppers South Korea in the semis while second-placed India could have an easy outing against Thailand.
On Monday, Iran paid for their complacency as Poland outplayed them for the entire 40 minutes of the encounter.
A below-par Iran managed to score just six points — two in the second half — as they were made to pay by the Polish raiders.
On the other hand, Polish captain Michal Spiczko led from the front scoring 12 points as the Iranian defence seemed like mere spectators throughout the game.
Poland thus ended their World Cup campaign on a memorable high and can take a lot of heart from their performances in the tournament.
Poland made a good start as Piotr Pamulak scored with a two point raid in the third minute to lead 4-2.
Iran levelled the game at 5-5 in the seventh minute but Poland’s Michal Spiczko scored three raid points to give his side a 9-7 lead after 10 minutes.
Jan Baranowicz then added a two point raid in the 14th minute to give Poland a 13-9 lead and reduce Iran to just three men.
Iran forced a super tackle in the 15th minute to trail 11-13. Iran’s defence uncharacteristically made too many silly errors on which Poland capitalised to extend the lead to 16-13 after 18 minutes.
Spiczko, Baranowicz and Pamulak scored five points each for Poland in the first half as Iran could just score four tackle points in the half to trail 14-17 at the break.
Coming back, Poland inflicted the first all out of the match in the 23rd minute to lead 23-15 as Spiczko scored two more points.
Iran’s defence scored their fifth tackle point in the 25th minute as Poland led 25-16. Iran’s misery got compounded when Fazel Atrachali was forced off the court because of a shoulder injury.
Poland continued their impressive performance in the second half and extended the lead to 10 points after 30 minutes.
Iran’s captain Meraj Sheykh scored just one point as their defence continued to flounder with Poland leading 32-21 in the 34th minute.
Pamulak scored his ninth point of the match as Poland led 36-21 after 37 minutes.
Poland inflicted the second all out in the 38th minute to complete Iran’s humiliation and finally wrap up the encounter with a 41-25 scoreline.