IR Iran seal semi-final place in style

February 8, 2018

Islamic Republic of Iran are one step closer to defending their AFC Futsal Championship title after beating Thailand 9-1 in the quarter-finals on Thursday at the Xinzhuang Stadium.

The defending champions produced a dominant performance, taking a five-goal lead in the first half with strikes from Ahmed Esmaeilpour, Ali Asghar Hassanzadeh and Hossein Tayebi.

Thailand’s Jirawat Sornwichian found one back but further goals from Mahdi Javid and Mohammad Shajari, sealed a comprehensive win for Iran.

Iran took the lead just 10 seconds into the match with Hassanzadeh’s long range pass finding Esmaeilpour, who made no mistake with a left-footed shot.

It was just the beginning for the title holders as Esmaeilpour scored his second in the fourth minute when he intercepted a pass and surged down the middle, before hitting home.

Hassanzadeh turned goalscorer less than 30 seconds after the restart from a set-play, tapping the ball in from close range, before Tayebi made it 4-0 in the sixth minute, courtesy of Farhad Tavakoli’s swift pass.

ASEAN champions Thailand’s first real chance came in the 10th minute with Madyalan aiming for the top left but Ali Reze Samimi palmed the the ball away.

Thailand conceded again in the 17th minute with Tayebi’s superb ground shot to the bottom right corner.

There was to be no respite for the Southeast Asians as Javid etched his name on the scoresheet two minutes into the second half, but Thailand’s five-men assault team avoided a whitewash with Sornwichian finding the back of the net moments later.

Shajari restored Iran’s six-goal lead in the 25th minute with a simple tap in, and as Thailand piled on the pressure in search of goals, they were hit again.

Tayebi completed his hat-trick in the 36th minute, before Shajari struck the final goal of the match.

Iran will face the winners of the Vietnam-Uzbekistan quarter-final, which will be played later on Thursday.

Source: AFC

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