AFC - Group A winners’ ticket to the 2017 AFC Beach Soccer Championship semi-finals will now be contested between the Islamic Republic of Iran and Bahrain after the Iranians whipped China PR 10-0 in Kuala Terengganu, Malaysia on Tuesday.
Both Iran and the Bahrainis recorded their third straight win on Tuesday with their crunch tie being their group’s last game on Wednesday.
Iran expressed their strong intentions as Mohammadali Mokhtari opened the scoring in great fashion after receiving from an Ali Mirshekari bicycle kick in the first minute of the game.
Iran’s talismanic scorer Farid Boulokbashi then got in the side’s second, his eighth in the competition, before Moslem Mesigar also scored shortly after.
Mokhtari then added another, his number six in the tournament, after beating keeper Jiang Wen Tao and a defender to make it 4-0 before the fifth was added by Seyed Hosseini as his tap-in rolled easily between the Chinese custodian’s hands to end the first period.
A free-kick by Seyed Nazem added Iran’s sixth before Mokhtari recorded his third in the tie with a beautiful volley, followed by a strong Mohammad Moradi strike that hit the bar before going into the net.
Amir Akbari then scored Iran’s ninth as his strike bounced off keeper Chang Rui Qi’s hands to end the second period.
Come the third period, a Boulakbashi free-kick went wide before his strike five minutes from time made Iran’s 10th and only goal in the period that capped off the Iranians’ fine performance.
The top three finishers at the AFC Beach Soccer Championship will represent Asia at the 2017 FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup, which is scheduled to be held in in Nassau, Bahamas from April 27 to May 7.