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Tashkent: Coach Mohammad Nazelmalsharie insists the real work starts now after Iran secured a convincing 7-0 victory over Kyrgyzstan in the quarter-finals of the AFC Futsal Championship on Wednesday to seal their place at the FIFA Futsal World Cup in Colombia this September.

Hossein Toyebi’s brace and a strike from captain Mohammad Taheri put Iran in a comfortable position at the break at Uzbekistan Stadium.

And with Ghodrat Bahadori, Asghar Hassanzadeh and Mehran Alighadr also scoring before Toyebi completed his hat-trick, Iran will face Vietnam in Friday’s semi-final following their penalty shootout win over defending champions Vietnam following a thrilling 4-4 draw after extra-time.

“Our main target from the start was to win this championship so as I have kept saying, we must keep going step-by-step,” said Nazelmalsharie.

“In the first half we said we must share our energy and not keep our main players on the pitch for such long periods. The only thing we were doing was taking advantage of the mistakes the opposition made. We now have to focus on the next game because the real work begins from this moment.”

High-scoring wins over Jordan, China and Iraq saw Iran qualify for the quarter-finals with maximum points before Wednesday’s win over Kyrgyzstan.

And the 10-time champions have never failed to reach the semi-finals of the AFC Futsal Championship, but Iran are chasing a first title since 2010 after falling short in the two previous editions.

“It was a very technical game, but I am very happy we have the strength to share the goals around between the players,” added Nazelmalsharie.

“We believe it is our right to be champions and that it the reason we came here."

Match report: Iran 7-0 Kyrgyzstan

Kyrgyzstan were playing in their first quarter-final since 2007, but despite the defeat, will now have to re-group ahead of Thursday’s fifth place play-off with Japan as they aim to qualify for a first-ever FIFA Futsal World Cup.

“I have very little to say about this game as we were a different team; my players followed my instructions only 5%,” said coach Andrey Polkhovskiy.

“We had lots of problems against them and we didn’t cope well. But now we will have to do everything we can to take fifth place.

“I tried to give everyone in the team a chance to play in the second half, especially those who haven’t played so much. When the score is increasing so quickly, it’s hard to do much.”

Photo: AFC

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