0713 GMT December 16, 2018
Both teams were quick out of the blocks at Malaysia’s Nilai Indoor Stadium and the first chance of note came in the fourth minute as Iran’s Fereshteh Karimi sprinted down the right and tested Japan goalkeeper Ayaka Yamamoto with a fierce drive, the-afc.com reported.
Barely a minute later, Karimi had another up close and personal encounter with the Japan custodian but yet again her effort was stopped by the impressive Yamamoto’s legs.
However, the breakthrough was to come for Iran on eight minutes as an unmarked Karimi finally made her mark following confusion in the Japan area.
The pulsating encounter continued when Mutsumi Sakata fired a rocket of a shot that Farzaneh Tavasoli in the Iran goal did well to palm away.
On 18 minutes, Fatemeh Etetadi fouled Sakata whose clever free-kick found skipper Shiori Nakajima but the Japan captain’s shot failed to find a way past Tavasoli in what was to prove the final opportunity of the first half.
Japan regained the initiative six minutes into the second period when Saori Kato connected with a corner only to see her effort saved by Tavasoli.
Kato then had a shot blocked by Etedadi’s body, before, in a breathless finale, Tavasoli reacted superbly to deny Nakajima and ensure her side of the title.