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Iran crowned 2017 AFC Beach Soccer champions

Source: The Asian Football Confederation

Iran was crowned AFC Beach Soccer Championship Malaysia 2017 champions on Saturday after beating the United Arab Emirates 7-2 in Kuala Terengganu, Malaysia.

The UAE's Haitham Mohamed opened the match with an impressive effort which Iran goalkeeper Seyed Hosseini saved well, but it was to be Iran who would draw first blood, Moslem Mesigar tapping home from close range to hand his side an early lead.

Clearly boosted by their goal, Iran immediately doubled their advantage through Hosseini's impressive strike, before Iran skipper Mohammad Ahmadzadeh's fired a volley just inches wide.

With the UAE failing to make an impression, Iran struck again as Mohammadali Mokhtari's penalty rounded off a fine first period for the Iranians.

Kamal Ali then went close with a volley as the Emiratis tried to rally. However worse was to come for them as Mesigar's cool header found the net with keeper Humaid Jamal rooted to the spot.

It was to be Jamal who eventually dragged the UAE back into the game with an impressive finish four minutes from time, a brief glimmer of hope that shone even brighter when Haitham Mohamed scored following neat approach play.

It was, however, not to be for the UAE, as an accurate Seyed Nazem free-kick, followed by Amir Akbari's volley and a Mokhtari penalty sealed a win - and the title - for the Iranians.

Iran's Mokhtari wins MVP and Top Scorer accolades

Mohammadali Mokhtari

Iran's talisman Mohammadali Mokhtari has been crowned the Most Valuable Player and Top Scorer following the conclusion of the AFC Beach Soccer Championship Malaysia 2017 in Kuala Terengganu on Saturday.

Twenty-six-year-old Mokhtari scored a total of 12 goals, including two in the final against the United Arab Emirates, a double in Iran's semi-final defeat of Japan, a whopping four against hosts Malaysia in their campaign opener, three against China and one in his side's win over Bahrain.

"This is a very exciting moment both for me and my team to win all these awards," said the Iran number nine. "These were achieved not through my efforts alone but through the hard work of the whole squad.

"But the most important thing was to win the championship and going forward to prepare for the World Cup, which definitely will be a different tournament from the Asian championship. I'll give my best and do even better in the World Cup."
Iran, who defeated the UAE 7-2 in the final, also grabbed the Fair Play award at the tournament.


Champions: Iran
Runners-up: United Arab Emirates
Third-place: Japan
MVP: Mohammadali Mokhtari (Iran - 12 goals)
Top Scorer: Mohammadali Mokhtari
Fair Play: Iran

Related News:

Japan beat Lebanon to claim last Bahama

AFC President hails Islamic Republic of Iran's Beach Soccer success

... Payvand News - 03/11/17 ... --

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