The Iranian national women's futsal team has claimed the silver medal at the 2013 Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games in South Korea, even though they lost the final match to powerhouse Japan, which won the gold.
Members of the Iranian women's futsal team pose with their silver medals after the final match with Japan at the Songdo Global University Campus Gymnasium in Incheon, South Korea, on July 5, 2013.
The Japanese squad defeated the Iranians 2-1 on Friday at the Songdo Global University Campus Gymnasium in the city of Incheon, which is located in northwestern South Korea. Lebanese national Rim Dakkak al-Chami was the referee.
The Iranians started the match with vigor and valor and dominated the first half. Iran's Nasimeh Sadat Gholami opened the scoring only four minutes into the game. Although the Iranian players had plenty of marvelous opportunities to score more goals during the first half, they squandered their chances.
The match gained momentum after the break as the Japanese started playing with much more purpose. Seven minutes into the second half, the Blues seized a perfect chance and evened the score.
The Iranian squad exerted a spell of pressure on their rivals but was unable to break down Japan's well-drilled defense.
Both teams failed to produce a winner in the remaining minutes of regular time as well as the first 5-minute extra time.
Ultimately, a fateful goal in the second 5-minute extra time separated the two sides and determined the winner.
Iranian team members lift their captain Leila Eqbali in the air. Eqbali quit the games after 9 years.
The Iranian women's futsal team advanced to the final of the 2013 Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games by defeating Indonesia 4-0 in a semifinal match at the Songdo Global University Campus Gymnasium on Wednesday.
Fereshteh Karimi scored two goals for Iran and Nasimeh Sadat Gholami and Niloufar Ardalan also found the back of the net in the semifinal.
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