AFC - The Islamic Republic of Iran will look to take their impressive AFC U-20 Futsal Championship Group Stage form into Monday’s quarter-final clash with Lebanon when the two sides meet at the Hua Mark Indoor Stadium.
Iran, who finished top of Group D, impressed all and sundry by recording four wins in their four Group Stage matches to finish five points clear of second-placed Mongolia. The dominant 10-0 victory against Kyrgyz Republic on Matchday Five was undoubtedly the best performance yet by Ali Arani’s talented side, but they also boast an impressive defensive record, having only conceded twice.
Lebanon finished as runners-up in Group C, only losing out on pole position to Uzbekistan due to an inferior goal difference. Although they have not been the most prolific of scorers in Bangkok, Lebanon do have an excellent defence which has only been breached five times thus far, and they will have to continue that trend if they are to oust a free-scoring Iran team.
IRAN - winners Group D
4 wins, 12 points
Leading goalscorer: Hamzeh Kadkhoda with 5
Iran head coach Ali Sanei Arani
“Firstly, I would like to congratulate Lebanon and all the other quarter-finalists. It has not been an easy competition for anybody, but we move on despite all our challenges. We are prepared.
“We have a responsibility to Iran as we are representatives of the country. We have a strong senior team, but we also want to be champions of this tournament.”
LEBANON - runners-up Group C
3 wins, 1 draw, 10 points
Leading goalscorer: Serge Kouyoumjian with 3
Lebanon head coach Shabab Sofalmanesh
“I may be an Iranian, but tomorrow, I am with the Lebanese team. And what we want to achieve is not just for ourselves, but for the people in Lebanon. It will be the toughest game we will have face so far, but it is good experience for our team to go up against Asia’s best. We have a special plan in mind against Iran, and we just want to carry out what we have prepared and we'll make sure that they are surprised.”
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