AFC - Islamic Republic of Iran were beaten by Russia on the final day of the Caspian Cup, while Turkmenistan were denied a title in Croatia as preparations for next month’s AFC Futsal Championship Turkmenistan 2020 Qualifiers continued on Wednesday.
IR Iran, 12-time Asian champions, fell at the final hurdle in their bid for the Caspian Cup title, losing 9-3 to hosts Russia to finish the competition in second place.
Team Melli came into the final day of competition in Astrakhan level on points with the highly-rated Russians, but it was the 2016 FIFA Futsal World Cup runners-up who prevailed, racing to an early 4-1 lead on the way to an emphatic win.
Earlier in the tournament, Ali Asghar Hassanzadeh and Farhad Tavakoli scored as Iran defeated Kazakhstan 2-1 in their opening match, before goals from Mehdi Javid and Abolghasem Orouji helped them come from behind to earn a 2-2 draw with Azerbaijan.
Meanwhile, 2020 AFC Futsal Championship hosts Turkmenistan were beaten 5-1 by Belgium in the Futsal Week Autumn Cup Final in Croatia.
With a 1-1 draw with Norway and 6-3 win over Montenegro under their belt earlier in the competition, the Central Asian side came into the decider with high hopes, but the Europeans proved too strong, cruising to a comfortable victory.
While Turkmenistan’s campaign ended in defeat, Saudi Arabia signed off with a 3-2 win over Montenegro to finish third in the six-team competition.
Iran, Turkmenistan and Saudi Arabia will all complete in next month’s AFC Futsal Championship 2020 Qualifiers, with Turkmenistan, who quality automatically as hosts, to take on Iran and Kyrgyz Republic in the Central and South Zone, while Saudi Arabia will meet Lebanon, Qatar and Oman in the West Zone.
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