Iran beat Japan to claim 12th AFC Futsal Championship crown

Gabriel Tan Gabriel Tan

Iran are once again the dominant side in Asian futsal after winning the 2018 AFC Futsal Championship with a 4-0 win over Japan in the final.

Coming up against a stubborn Japanese side at the Xinzhuang Gymnasium, it took Iran until just before halftime to break the deadlock when captain Ali Asghar Hassanzadeh did well to peel away from his marker before finishing from an acute angle.

Two minutes after the restart, Farhard Tavakoli made it 2-0 as he applied the finishing touches to a fine team move by sweeping a first-time effort past Higor Pires.

From then on, the Iranians were never going to relinquish their lead and, with Japan pushing forward in search of a lifeline, plenty of gaps began to appear at the back.

Hassanzadeh struck again on the half-hour mark with a clinical right-footed finish into the bottom corner, before Hossein Tayebi finished things off in the final minute when he stroked a shot from inside his own half into the unguarded net.

Earlier in the day, Uzbekistan clinched third place by defeating Iraq 2-1 on penalties after both sides had played out a 4-4 draw.

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