April 17, 2024
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Tehran Times – PATTAYA, Iran defeated Malaysia 14-5 in their opening AFC Beach Soccer Asian Cup™ Thailand 2023 Group B match on Thursday.

It was an impressive performance by the two-time champions as they signaled their intent to challenge for the Thailand 2023 title. 

The action came thick and fast at the Jomtein Beach Arena with Iran dominating the early possession, with Moslem Mesigar scoring from a free-kick in the first minute.

Malaysia responded through Mohamad Norazman’s effort a minute later but Iran went ahead again in the third minute with Amir Hosein Akbari scoring with an overhead kick.

Iran continued to press and scored two quick goals through Ali Mirshekari off a free-kick and Abbas Rezaei’s effort from distance.

Malaysia fought back with Mohd Faisal Saharudin scoring in the sixth minute when he raced down the right flank before slotting home from a tight angle, the-afc.com reported.

Iran, however, responded with goals through Reza Amiri Zadeh’s grounded effort and Moslem Mesigar’s close range header to give the Central Asian side a 6-2 lead going into the break.

Mahdi Shirmohammadi widened the advantage with a wonderful strike in the 13th minute, while Movahed Mohammadpour made it 8-2 a minute later with a long range free-kick.

Rezaei scored Iran’s ninth in the 16th minute but an undaunted Malaysia came fighting back to score twice in quick succession courtesy of Mohd Hasrol Ali (18th) and Muhammad Qushairie Asaari (20th).

Iran, however, continued to press with Mirshekari scoring in the 23rd minute with Mohammadali Mokhtari ​​(28th) and Mahdi Shirmohammadi (30th) then adding to their haul. 

Mohd Ridhwan Zainal narrowed the deficit in the 34th minute but Iran had the final say with Movahed Mohammadpour and Javad Khosravi scoring to cap a phenomenal win.