News ID: 189234
Published: 0807 GMT March 12, 2017

Iran wins three more Asian awards in Beach Soccer Championship

Iran wins three more Asian awards in Beach Soccer Championship

Iran received three more awards in the AFC Beach Soccer Championship Malaysia 2017.

In the one-week competition, held in in Kuala Terengganu, Iran won the title after defeating the UAE 7-2, Tasnim News Agency reported.

Iran talisman Mohammad-Ali Mokhtari was crowned the Most Valuable Player (MVP) and Top Scorer following the conclusion of the tournament.

Twenty-six-year-old Mokhtari scored a total of 12 goals, including two in the final against the UAE, a double in Iran's semifinal defeat of Japan, a whopping four against host Malaysia in the campaign opener, three against China and one in his side's win over Bahrain.

“This is a very exciting moment both for me and my team to win all these awards. These were achieved not through my efforts alone but through the hard work of the whole squad,” Mokhtari said.

“But the most important thing was to win the championship and going forward to prepare for the World Cup, which definitely will be a different tournament from the Asian championship. I'll give my best and do even better in the World Cup,” he added.

Iran also grabbed the Fair Play award at the tournament.


World Cup


As the dust begins to settle on the 2017 AFC Beach Soccer Championship, the top three finishers – Iran, the UAE and Japan – have wasted little time in turning their attention to the upcoming FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup.

The AFC Beach Soccer Championship in Malaysia served as the qualifying competition for the global get-together, with champion Iran and runner-up the UAE leading the charge, and Japan claiming the third and final ticket to the Bahamas after it beat Lebanon in an enthralling third-place playoff.

As the clock continues to tick down towards the start of the World Cup on April 27, the Asian trio are already busily preparing for the challenges ahead – a locking of horns with the world’s elite that two of this year’s AFC Beach Soccer Championship stars believe the continent’s finest are more than equipped to handle.

“All the teams in the semifinals were very good and, I believe, are the best in Asia,” Iran goalkeeper Peiman Hosseini told

“We’d predicted that we’d be going to the semifinals and final and we had been preparing for this competition for a year. Qualifying for the World Cup was also one of our targets.

“We all took the games seriously but Japan to me was the toughest opponents in this competition. Japan and the UAE went way back as we had a long history of playing each other. Since the last tournament [in 2015], it’s always been difficult to face Japan.

“These three teams fully deserved qualification to the World Cup. We’re the top three in Asia. I’m sure we can do a good job in flying the Asian flag in the World Cup and increase the standards of Asian beach soccer."

Meanwhile, UAE veteran Ali Karim has echoed Hosseini’s sentiments, adding that he believes Asia''s three representatives have what it takes to reach the World Cup semifinals.

“Iran are Asia's top team in world beach soccer and they also have finished second after Brazil at in the 2016 Beach Soccer Intercontinental Cup. Japan are not far behind Iran with their own strengths,” said Karim, who is also a futsal and football referee in his home country.

“I’m sure the three of us have a chance to make a big impact for Asia. We have a strong chance to reach the semifinals of the world showpiece and then who knows, we could well be in the final.”

Resource: Tasnim News Agency
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