Spirited Iran fails to qualify for Futsal World Cup final

September 28, 2016

Iran lost to Russia 4-3 in the FIFA Futsal World Cup Colombia 2016 semifinals in Medellin, Colombia early Wednesday.

The European side led from the start at the Coliseo Ivan de Bedout to reach its first-ever Futsal World Cup final, though Russia was made to work hard for it by the Asian champion, who had shown its pedigree in making it to the last four after victories over reigning world champion Brazil in the Round of 16 and Paraguay in the quarter-final.

Russia took the lead through Dmitry Lyskov but Iran’s response came through a stunning free-kick from Ahmad Esmaeilpour, fifa.com wrote.

Russia restored its lead shortly after the break through Sergey Abramov’s sumptuous volley for his second of the tournament.

Iran’s Aliasghar Hassanzadeh showed great composure to make it 2-2. Yet, seconds later, Russia responded through its captain Vladislav Shayakmetov to leave the Iranians chasing the match once more.

With time winding down, Iran used the flying goalkeeper in a bid to draw level for a third time. Yet, with an empty Iranian net to aim for, Russia scored its match winner through Ivan Chishkala from his own half.

Though the task looked insurmountable, Iran’s never-say-die spirit that has been at the foundation of their Colombia 2016 campaign made the final seconds of this semi-final interesting, as Mahdi Javid converted on the rebound to make the scoreline a more accurate reflection of this hard-fought contest.

Russia’s triumph sees the team advance to the final in Cali on Saturday 1 October, where it will face the winner of Wednesday’s semi-final between Argentina and Portugal.

Iran will play in Saturday’s third-place match against the loser of Wednesday’s semi-final, also in Cali.

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