Iran crowned champion of Asia beach soccer

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PRESS TV – DOHA, Iran’s national beach soccer team has claimed its first Asian title after edging defending champion Japan in the final of the Asian qualifiers for the 2013 FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup.

The Iranian outfit, which defeated the United Arab Emirates 3-2 in the semifinals on Friday to book a berth at the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup in Papeete on the southern Pacific island of Tahiti in September, played a thrilling and eventful match against the Japanese team at Katara Beach in the Qatari capital Doha on Saturday.

The game ended 6-6 in regulation time, and there were no goals in the two 3-minute extra periods.

Iran then scored all 5 goals in the penalty shootout, while Japan’s fifth kick was saved by Iranian goalkeeper Peyman Hosseini, giving Iran a 5-4 win in the shootout and making the team the champion of Asian beach soccer.

The Asian beach soccer World Cup qualifiers opened in Doha on January 22 and wrapped up on January 26.

The two finalists and the UAE, the third-place playoff winner, secured Asia’s three qualifying berths for the 2013 FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup in Tahiti, which will be held from September 18 to 28.

The winning team received a cash prize of 12,000 Qatari riyals (about $3,300), the runners-up got 8,000 Qatari riyals (about $2,200), and the third-place team was awarded 5,000 Qatari riyals (about $1,380).

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