Manama: AFC President Shaikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa has congratulated Japan for retaining the AFC Futsal Championship title by beating 10-time winners Iran 3-0 in the shootout after the final ended 2-2 at the end of extra-time on Saturday in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.
Ho Chi Minh City: Iran duo Hossein Tayebi and Asghar Hassanzadeh claimed the individual awards at the AFC Futsal Championship despite Jesus Candelas’ side losing Saturday’s final on penalties to Japan.
Tayebi’s 15th goal of the campaign had given Iran a 2-1 lead in the first half of extra-time at Phu Tho Stadium only for Japan to equalsie through an own goal from Hamid Ahmadi before posting a 3-0 win in the shootout.
Hassanzadeh had also been amongst the goals after finding the net eight times as Iran reached the final with a 100% record, and his efforts were rewarded by being named the tournament’s MVP while also finishing as joint runner-up behind team-mate Tayebi on the goalscoring chart.
The 26-year-old Hassanzadeh, who was the top scorer at the 2011 AFC Futsal Club Championship, scored two hat-tricks in Vietnam to help Iran score 52 goals in six games.
Japan’s Nobuya Osodo and Iran’s Vahid Shafiei joined Hassanzadeh on eight goals, with Kuwait’s Abdulrahman Al Taweel fifth on the list after his seven goals helped his side reach the semi-finals before losing Saturday’s third place play-off to Uzbekistan.
Ho Chi Minh City: Uzbekistan coach Bahodir Ahmedov is already looking ahead to the next AFC Futsal Championship and qualification for the FIFA Futsal World Cup after guiding his young team to a third place finish in Vietnam following Saturday’s 2-1 win over Kuwait.