News ID: 201243
Published: 0336 GMT September 25, 2017

Iran claims Asian women’s futsal bronze in Ashgabat

Iran claims Asian women’s futsal bronze in Ashgabat

Sports Desk

Iran beat China 5-1 to finish third in the 2017 Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games women's futsal in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan.

On Monday, Iran and China, having suffered semifinal defeats at the hands of Japan and Thailand, respectively, went into the third-place playoff with their last-ditch effort for silverware in the competitions.

Iranians started right on the front foot and went in front through Fereshteh Karimi with only three minutes into the game.

Sara Shirbeigi then doubled Iran’s lead two minutes later and the 26-year-old Iranian got his second of the match in the 10th minute.

Jiabao Dong pulled one back for China to make it a 3-1 halftime score line.

It was pretty much the same story in the second half as Karimi got her brace right after the interval.

Shirbeigi completed her hat-trick in the 31st minute to seal Iran’s victory as the 2015 AFC Women's Futsal champion finished its decent campaign with a bronze medal.

"I am happy but I wanted to be happier and win the silver or gold. But bronze is still valuable. It is still important. It is better than nothing, Iran’s coach, Shahrzad Mozafar, said after her side grabbed the bronze medal.

"After losing in the semifinals we had time to talk to the players and inspire them so they could overcome their disappointment," Mozafar added.

"I was national coach when we won the silver medal at the Asian Indoor Games in 2013 and then I left.

"I only came back two months ago so I only had a short time to prepare the team.

"I hope to stay on as coach for the AFC Championhips next year. But the average age of this team is close to 28 so we need to make it younger and bring in new players," the Iranian said on her future as Iran’s coach.

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