Tuesday, 29 May 2012 20:33
AFC - Iran stormed into the semifinals of the AFC Futsal Championship 2012 after beating last edition’s finalist Uzbekistan 6-3 in the quarterfinal played at the Al Shabab Club Stadium on Tuesday.
Iran’s entry to the semifinal also ensured their place in the FIFA Futsal World Cup to be played in Thailand later this year. In contrast, Uzbekistan are out of the race with Thailand beating Lebanon by 5-3 - lesser goal difference than Uzbekistan.
With the FIFA Futsal World Cup host Thailand booking a place in the semifinal, five Asian countries will get berth in the global showpiece and the fifth to be determined by the best fifth ranked team of this championship.
Hamid Ahmadi scored a brace including a fifth minute goal against the run of play to put early pressure on Uzbekistan. Uzbekistan were all over the place in the beginning as Ahmad Esmailpur scored the second goal in the 7th minute.
“It was a big game and my boys started nervously and specially going 3-0 down against a team as big as Iran, its next to impossible to come back into the match,” said Uzbekistan’s Spanish coach Pazos Mandez Jose Maria as Uzbekistan were trailing by 3-0 after Ali Ashghar Hassanzadeh scored deep into the first half.
Uzbekistan had their chances as well in the first half but they failed to convert those. They came out strongly in the second half as it took just a minute for the Uzbeks to reduce the deficit by 3-1 after Shuhrat Tojiboev scored early in the second half.
Iran did not offer any chance to Uzbek players to sense that they are back into the match by scoring their fourth just a minute after Tojiboev’s goal through Mohammed Taheri.
With captain Vahid Shamsaee, playing in the continental championship after missing out in 2010 in Uzbekistan, misfiring three golden opportunities, Uzbeks came adventurous and add one more goal in the 28th minute and the goalscorer was again Tojiboev.
“It was a good competitive match but we were on our guard,” Iran coach Ali Sanei said. “We had some anxious moment but still we controlled the match, scored a couple of early goals and never let Uzbekistan to bounce back,” he added.
Tayebi Hossain scored in the 32nd minute while Hamid added one more before Dilshod Rakhmatov scored in the 40th minute.
Iran will take on Thailand on tomorrow’s first semifinal at Al Wasl Stadium.