The Iran women’s national futsal team has vigorously ended its campaign at the 2018 Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Women’s Futsal Championship, and defended its title as the champion of the continental tournament.
The Iranian sportswomen defeated the Japanese outfit 5-2 in the final showdown of the event at Indoor Stadium Huamark in the Thai capital city of Bangkok.
Both teams began the battle as expected, playing a high pressure game with intense marking from the first blow of the whistle.
Iran and Japan national futsal teams were evenly matched and had their fair share of ball possession during the first half. Their efforts, however, failed to yield results and they went into the cloakrooms tied at nil.
The Asian powerhouses continued to present attacks after the break, until Iran’s Sara Shirbeigi unleashed a fine shot that was buried into the net in the 28th minute, and gave the reigning champions the lead.
Fereshteh Karimi then made no mistake to double Iran’s lead in the 30th minute.
Shirbeigi displayed spectacular individual skills later on, when she dribbled through the Japanese defense before netting her brace.
The Iranian skipper completed her hat trick in the 31st minute.
Japan’s numerous attempts to pull back a goal finally paid off in the 36th minute and Mika Eguchi opened the scoring for her side.
Fahimeh Zarei then shot into the goalmouth, and put Iran 5-1 in front.
Anna Amishiro jabbed Japan’s second goal of the match in the 39th minute.
Earlier in the day, Thailand clinched the third place, defeating 3-2 in a penalty shoot-out after the exciting play-off against Vietnam ended scoreless.
President of the Football Federation of the Islamic Republic of Iran (FFIRI) Mehdi Taj, head coach of Iran’s national football team Carlos Queiroz and Majlis Speaker Ali Larijani, in separate messages, have felicitated the triumph, and praised the efforts made by female Iranian futsal players to win the championship.
The 2018 AFC Women’s Futsal Championship, which was the second edition of the international event, started on May 2 and closed on May 12, 2018.