AFC U-20 Futsal Championship: Iran, Indonesia seek cheer after semis heartbreak

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AFC – TABRIZ, The head coaches of Islamic Republic of Iran and Indonesia will urge their players to go for one last push when they square off in the AFC U-20 Futsal Championship IR Iran 2019 third-place play-off at the Pour Sharifi Indoor Stadium on Saturday. 

Both came up just short in Thursday’s semi-finals as Iran were dethroned by Japan after an epic tie while Afghanistan ended Indonesia’s dream run, with both suffering defeat in extra time.

ISLAMIC REPUBLIC OF IRAN

Goals scored: 17

Conceded: 15

Top scorer: Salar Aghapour (5 goals)

The host nation came back from a goal down to lead 4-3 against Japan but were severely punished for a defensive lapse when Osawa Masashi was taken down in the box in the final minute, with Motoishi Takehiro converting the spot-kick to push the game into extra time.

Iran then fell to two set-pieces, along with two more goals which were the result of their power play backfiring to lose 8-4 and miss out on the chance of defending their title.

Head coach Hamid Moghadam admitted his team were feeling down after losing to Japan.

“It’s going to be difficult to motivate my team now, and I’m worried my players will not emotionally recover from this,” said Moghadam.

“It’s going to be an even harder match against Indonesia, compared to the semi-final.”

Moghadam will be counting on Salar Aghapour to lead his teammates, with the player having scored five goals so far. Masoud Yousef Shavardazi, with four goals, will be the other player Indonesia have to be wary of.


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