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Afghanistan’s Momrak sets eyes on future

Tabriz: There was no title to cap Afghanistan’s fairy tale run in the AFC U-20 Futsal Championship IR Iran 2019, but head coach Abdul Razaq Momrak was a satisfied man nonetheless.

Afghanistan appeared in their first ever AFC final at any level and Momrak said this will be the foundation for the sport's continued development.

Despite their 3-1 loss to Japan in Saturday’s final, Afghanistan held their own and the result could well have been different had they converted their dominance into goals.

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“Thank you AFC, thank you Islamic Republic of Iran and the city of Tabriz for hosting this tournament,” said Momrak during the post-match press conference.

“I want to congratulate Japan for winning the title, and Iran for the third place. Japan was really good, tactically and physically.

“However, I am proud of our players and my colleagues.”

Momrak said finishing second was more than commendable, also paying tribute to the travelling Afghanistan fans.

“We had a really short training camp, and this (final) was a mission impossible for Afghanistan, but this is still a big achievement for Afghanistan."

“I want to thank our fans who came here to Tabriz. They supported us everywhere, here in the stadium, our hotel and on social media.

“They motivated us to be champions, and despite the loss, they’re still calling us champions for what we’ve achieved.”

Futsal is a growing sport in Afghanistan and Momrak was hopeful seeing rapid progress after the exploits of his team.

“We don’t have a national league in Afghanistan, but we have got good leagues in different states. We want to improve them, and we are going to start one (national league) in the near future.

“We also want to have a team participating in the AFC Futsal Club Championship.”

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