Sat, Feb 03, 2018 - Page 16 News List

Iran thrash Myanmar; Iraq fight for futsal win

By Jason Pan  /  Staff reporter

Defending champions Iran yesterday thrashed Myanmar 14-0 in their Group C match, while China’s woes continued when Iraq mounted a comeback for a 4-2 victory in the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Futsal Championship at the University of Taipei’s Tianmu campus gymnasium.

Iran, the 11-time title-winners, displayed their technical skill and teamwork against first-time tournament participants Myanmar.

Three-time AFC Futsal Player of the Year Ali Asghar Hassanzadeh led the charge with four goals for Team Melli, while fellow striker Mahdi Javid netted four goals, with Hossein Tayebi scoring a hat-trick.

It was 9-0 at intermission and the Iranians kept up the pace with ball control and pinpoint passing to score five goals in the second-half and cruise to a comfortable 14-0 triumph.

In the China-Iraq draw, Chinese players Gu Haitao and Zhao Liang found the net to grab a quick 2-0 lead.

However, Iraq rallied in the second half with Hasan Ali deflecting two goals to level the score.

China wilted under pressure, with two players sent off for fouls, having handled the ball in the box.

Hasan Dakheel smashed home the ensuing penalty to take the lead with two minutes remaining.

China put on a power play to equalize the score, but Rafid Hameed secured victory for Iraq with a header in the final seconds of the game.

In Group D, the Kyrgyz Republic and Lebanon played for a 2-2 draw and Thailand enjoyed a 5-1 triumph over Jordan.

Action for Group A and B resumes today, with the central Asian derby between Uzbekistan and Tajikistan at 4:30pm. Japan take on South Korea at 7pm. Both matches are at the university gymnasium.

Taiwan is to take on Malaysia at 7pm at Sinjhaung Gymnasium in New Taipei City in a must-win game for the hosts. Vietnam are to face Bahrain at 4:30pm.

Only the two top teams in each group advance, and Taiwan need two wins to guarantee a place in the next round.

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