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AFC - Sanaye Giti Pasand clinched their spot in the quarter-finals of the AFC Futsal Club Championship Vietnam 2017 after easily seeing off Shenzhen Nanjing 7-0 in their Group C opener, thus ending the Chinese side’s campaign.

The Iranian side's victory also paved the path for Shriker Osaka’s first-ever appearance in the quarter-finals.

Both sides began the match eager to establish an early grip, moving the ball with fluidity and pace. Well aware of the stakes after having lost their opening tie 5-1 to Shriker Osaka, it was Shenzhen who were applying the early pressure, but Giti Prasand’s confidence grew as the match progressed, creating the first chance when Abolghasem Orouji nutmeg Zhuang Jianfa to set free Ali Asghar but the forward scuffed his shot at the decisive moment.

The attempt would mark a spell of almost total dominance by the Iranians, as Shenzhen struggled to find their footing for most the match. The Iranians netted their opening goal inside the first six minutes courtesy of Mohammad Zarei whose right-foot effort drove through the legs of goalkeeper Cheng Yingqiang.

Seconds later, Giti Pasand doubled their lead when Asghar directed a dipping effort just after the half-way line. Asghar would feature again in Giti Pasand’s third just a minute later, stealing the ball from Zeng Liang before setting neatly for Ahmad Esmaeilpour.

Giti Pasand continued their high-pressing tempo, grabbing their fourth in the 14th minute after threading together three immaculate passes beginning with goalkeeper Sepehr Mohammadi to Esmaeilpour to Asghar before Mohammad Keshavarz clipped the ball past Cheng.

The second-half began with the Iranians maintaining their ruthlessness in hot pursuit of their fifth and duly delivered as Esmaeilpour guided the ball into an empty net after Mehrdad Jaberidoraki did well to lunge and intercept bravely from Brazilian Paulo Henrique Dos Santos.

Two minutes later, Esmaeilpour - the FIFA Futsal World Cup Colombia 2016 Bronze Ball Winner - grabbed his hat-trick, finishing clinically from the right after a string of Iranian exchanges from both ends of Shenzhen’s semi-circle.

Giti Pasand added their sixth three minutes from the end after Saeid Ahmad Abbasi reacted quickly from his initial attempt which rocked the crossbar. Seconds later, Jaberidoraki made it seven with a sublime first touch intercept from his own half.

Despite being outplayed, Shenzhen had one final chance for a consolation in the closing stages when Huang Tao drove a thundering effort but Sepehr Mohammadi’s quick reflexes ensured a clean sheet for the 2012 champions.

Giti Prasand’s victory sets up a scintillating contest for Group C supremacy against Shriker Osaka on Monday.

Alireza Afzal (Sanaye Giti Pasand Isfahan Head Coach)

“I am happy with the score line but make no mistake, it was a hard game. Shenzhen knew they had nothing to lose and you could see that they played much better today than they did in their first game against the Japanese team. But my players were patient and I am pleased with our performance. Our passing, our off-the-ball movement, and our finishing were sharp and good.”


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