AFC Futsal: Thailand put to the sword by irresistible Iran

Gabriel Tan Gabriel Tan

Iran continued their march towards the 2018 AFC Futsal Championship title after claiming to a 9-1 win over Thailand at the Xinzhuang Gymnasium in the quarter-finals on Thursday.

The Iranians’s progress into the semi-finals never looked in doubt from the time they raced into a four-goal lead inside the opening five minutes, courtesy of a brace by Ahmad Esmaeilpour and further strikes by Ali Asghar Hassanzadeh and Hossein Tayebi.

Tayebi then added another in the 16th minute to make it 5-0 by halftime and the defending champions were in no mood to let up as the second half got underway, with Mahdi Javid getting in on the act with an emphatic left-footed strike into the top corner.

Thailand did pull one back a minute later through a sublime flick by Jirawat Sornwichian, although it was always going to be a mere consolation, with their opponents going on to complete the rout as Tayebi completed his hat-trick while Mohammad Shajari grabbed a double of his own.

Meanwhile in Thursday afternoon’s other quarter-final, Iraq advanced into the last four with a penalty shootout victory over Lebanon, after both sides played out a 2-2 draw at the University of Taipei Gymnasium.