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FIFA praises Iran's futsal performace in World Cup

Source: Islamic Republic News Agency

The International Federation of Association Football (FIFA) on Monday lauded Iranian futsal team's reat performance in the FIFA World Cup Futsal in Thailand.

Iranian Futsal Players

"Iran has taken another major step towards reaching the last 16 with a hard-fought 2-1 win over Morocco at Bangkok's Huamark indoor stadium. Goals from Ali Hassanzadeh and Afshin Kazemi secured the points for his team, which now only needs a point in their final Group B match against Panama be guaranteed a top two spot and a place in the knockout rounds," said FIFA.

Iran were heavy favorites to follow up their 2-2 draw over Spain with victory in this match and they certainly dominated the play, monopolizing possession and attempting four efforts on target for every one of Morocco. However, the North Africans proved a tough nut to crack and, when the breakthrough finally did arrive in the last minute of the first half, it was from the penalty spot.

Ali Hassanzadeh dispatched the kick in style, sending Rabie Zaari the wrong way with a powerful right-foot shot, but his joy was to be short-lived. Iran's lead lasted just 11 seconds, in fact, with Morocco constructing an incisive counter-attack that culminated in Youssef Al Mazray slotting home the equalizer from close range.

The second half repeated the same pattern, with determined defending and inspired goalkeeping from Zaari denying Iran the goals their territorial supremacy merited. However, the Moroccans' resistance was eventually worn down with just under eight minutes remaining, when Afshin Kameni chipped the ball over the grounded Zaari from close range.

"Morocco played well today, much better than the last time we played each other, and in the first half we missed too many chances. Psychologically that put our players under pressure until we scored the second goal," said Ali Sanei, Iran coach.

"I wouldn't say I'm happy with the way we played, but I'm satisfied - at least with some of my players' performances. We were certainly more organized in this match than we were against Panama. We will now go into our final match against Spain looking to give the best impression of Moroccan futsal," said Hicham Dguig, Morocco coach.

Goals from Masoud Daneshvar and Hossein Tayebi gave Iran a 2-2 comeback draw against Spain in their Group B opener at the FIFA Futsal World Cup 2012.

Asian heavyweights Iran came from two goals behind to secure a 2-2 draw against six-time European champions Spain in their FIFA Futsal World Cup 2012 opener at the Huamark Indoor Stadium in Bangkok.

The Spanish, who have twice lifted the trophy at this tournament, raced into a half-time advantage but had to settle for a point with their Group B rivals after an entertaining match-up between two teams intent on attacking throughout.

Miguelin's precision finish put Spain ahead in the early stages and their lead was doubled shortly before half-time when Lozano took advantage of a rebound, following clever play by Torras, to find the back of the net.

But Iran improved in the second period and earned the draw they deserved courtesy of goals from Masoud Daneshvar and Hossein Tayebi within three minutes of each other, much to the delight of the considerable Iranian support.

The pair are back in Group B action on Monday, when Spain face section pace-setters Panama after Iran have met Morocco.

"It was a really tight match. We were not effective in attack and the game changed in the first five minutes of the second half, when instead of us scoring the third goal, they got one back. From then on they were more aggressive. We usually grow as the World Cup goes on, but you have to congratulate Iran - they played a great game," Venancio Lopez, Spain coach.

"During half-time, I asked my players to simply go out and play their attacking game, and so they did. At the end, I believe the result is perfect for the match," Ali Sanei, Iran coach.

... Payvand News - 11/05/12 ... --

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