Iran retained the Asian futsal title as it struggled to a 6-4 victory over the budding Nippon in the nail-biting final in the 12,000-seater hall of Azadi Sports Complex in western Tehran on Tuesday, IRNA reported.
Supported by some 15,000 flag-waving partisan fans, Iran took an early lead as skipper Mohammad-Reza Heidarian unleashed a left goal-bound kick in the second minute, kissing the top right net of Japan.
The blue-clad Japan fell behind 3-0 when the new signing of Italy's Lazio, Vahid Shamsaei, grabbed his double in two minutes, slotting home in the seventh and ninth minutes.
|Vahid Shamsaei, top goalscorer of Asia, overwhelmed by the joy, cries after Iran retains the Asian futsal title as it struggles to a 6-4 victory over the budding Nippon in the nail-biting final in the 12,000-seater hall of Azadi Sports Complex, western Tehran, Tuesday. SF/217 Photo by IRNA Photographer: Mohammad Babaei|
With high team spirit, Japan was never impressed by the Iranian flair and all-out support of boisterous spectators, pulling one back by Osamo Lambata two minutes before the break.
After three minutes into the second half, the in-form keeper of Japan made his sole blunder, giving the top goalscorer of Asia, Shamsaei, too much time and space to lay and head the ball into an empty net.
Reza Nasseri, Iran's goalie, was forced to take the ball out of net four minutes later.
Japan possessed both the ball and the field, keeping the powerful team of Iran in defensive position.
Iranian fans, players, and coaches gave a sigh of relief when Heidarian converted a penalty from close range in the 11th minute.
Iran's two-goal lead was short-lived. A sizzling six-yard kick by Nippon captain found the top left part of advancing Nasseri's net two minutes later, making it 5-4.
Five fouls by the Japanese side gave the host five penalties which were all superbly saved by the blues' plucky keeper.
As Japan planned its attack on Iran's woodwork one after another, the Iranians watching the match in the hall and on TV wished the nerve-jangling final would come to an end sooner.
Just one minute from the normal time, Shamsaei poured cold water on Japan's camp, scoring an invaluable goal and giving his side a 6-4 win.
Thailand stood third at the 5th Asian Futsal Championships as it crushed Kuwait Tuesday.
Supported by over 12,000 Iranian spectators, the Thai side thrashed the blue-clad Kuwait 8-2 to celebrate the third title.
In each half, Thailand scored four goals to prove it is turning to a powerful futsal team of the continent.
Coached by the Iranian manager Hossein Shams, Kuwait pulled two back after the break as Ahmad Othman and Nasser al-Enzi fired home
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