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Iran’s futsal players celebrate another gold medal win at the Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games.
Incomparable Iran confirm status as futsal kings

26 Sep 2017
Ashgabat, September 26, 2017: Iran won futsal gold for the fifth time in a row at the Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games’ on Tuesday evening as the defending champions cruised to a 7-1 win over Uzbekistan at the Multifunctional Sport Venue. The Iranians, semi-finalists at last year’s FIFA Futsal World Cup, maintained their gold medal-winning run, which extends unbroken back to the inaugural Asian Indoor Games in Bangkok in 2005 with a commanding performance in front of a sold out arena.

"Of course we are now very happy and glad we won again for the fifth time,” said Iran captain Alireza Hassanzadeh. "It's my fourth gold medal and as a captain I couldn't be happier. "We came here for this gold, we were here to win the tournament, and we had the right concentration no matter whom we played.

This is Iran and we always need to show our level of futsal, which brought us to the third place in the last World Cup and today on top in Asia.” Mahdi Javid gave Iran the lead after just four minutes and, as the first half hit the midway point he doubled his side’s advantage when he shot on the turn to slid the ball under the body of Uzbek goalkeeper Akmaljon Kharatkulov.

Hassanzadeh added a third less than two minutes into the second half before Davron Choriev pulled one back for the Uzbeks in the 29th minute, but Hamid Ahmadidazaj restored Iran’s three-goal cushion two minutes later.

Javid completed his hat-trick soon after and, with five minutes remaining, he netted his fourth when he rolled the ball into the unguarded net from deep inside his own half as the relentless Iranians showed Uzbekistan no mercy. Hassanzadeh scored his team’s seventh with less than three minutes on the clock to underline his team’s supremacy.

Earlier in the evening, Japan won the bronze medal in a penalty shootout after being held to a 1-1 draw by Afghanistan, the tournament’s surprise package. Akbar Kazemi put Afghanistan in sight of a famous win nine minutes from time when he swept the ball home from close range after Jawad Haidiri’s shot had come back off the crossbar.

But four minutes later Shota Horigome steered his side-footed volley past Ali Reza Qurbani to take the game to penalties, and Daimu Yazawa’s save of Kazemi’s penalty turned the game in Japan’s favour and Bruno Garcia’s team ran out 3-1 shootout winners.

"This is the first international tournament for me with Japan,” said Garcia, who previously worked as coach of Vietnam. “We invited only young players. The average age is just 22 so this is a good result for us. It was about giving them experience."
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