Tehran Times – VILNIUS, Iran came from a goal down to defeat the U.S. 4-2 in Group F of the FIFA Futsal World Cup Lithuania 2021 at the Vilnius Arena on Friday.
Two consecutive wins put Iran in a strong position to advance to the knockout stage with South American powerhouse Argentina their final Group F opponents on Monday.
The 12-time Asian champions suffered a setback when goalkeeper Alireza Samimi was sent off in the second minute due to touching the ball outside the area.
One minute later, Luciano Gonzalez fired his effort past substitute goalkeeper Sepehr Mohammadi.
However, the Americansâ€™ lead was short-lived as Iran responded immediately, finding the back of the net through Farhad Tavakoliâ€™s sublime strike-off Farhad Fakhimâ€™s assist.
The game tilted in Iranâ€™s favor after that as they enjoyed the lionâ€™s share of possession and doubled their lead after Moslem Oladghobad set up Mahdi Javid in the seventh minute.
The U.S. pushed forward to level the score but were hit again when Ahmad Esmaeilpour added Iranâ€™s third goal in the 10th minute.
Despite being forced to depend on counter-attacks, the U.S. reduced the deficit in the 36th minute following the powerplay with goalkeeper Diego Moretti providing the assist for Gonzalez but Saeid Ahmad AbbasiÂ sealed the win for Iran with his strike a minute from time.