UAE lose 7-2 to Iran in AFC Beach Soccer Championship 2017 final

AFC Beach Soccer - Iran
UAE fell at the final hurdle but will still head to the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup.

Iran lifted the AFC Beach Soccer title for a second time on Saturday as they beat UAE 7-2 in Kuala Terengganu, Malaysia.

Both nations will head to the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup but Iran will do as as AFC champions after braces from Moslem Mesigar and tournament MVP Mohammadali Mokhtari helped see off a spirited UAE effort. 

Both nations will now begin preparations for their campaign in the Bahamas, where they could potentially come face to face once more.

Iran led two minutes in when Mesigar turned and sent a bobbling effort past Mohamed Abdulla before goalkeeper Peyman Hosseini doubled the advantage amid a dominant start from the Group A winners.

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UAE steeled themselves and went close when Ali Mohammad struck the post but they fell further behind when tournament top scorer Mokhtari tucked away a set-piece.

The UAE would continue to ask questions of Iran in the second period but a lapse in concentration allowed Mesigar to glance in Iran’s fourth unmarked after a quick throw from Hosseini.

Hosseini’s opposite number Humaid Jamal got UAE on the board with an inch-perfect strike before Haitham Mohamed bundled in his side’s second to make life awkward for Iran, only for Amir Akbari to slot in a free-kick less than a minute before the final period.

The latter stages began in relatively low-key fashion - Akbari’s strike having seemingly deflated the UAE - and things were made more difficult for the men in white when Ali Nazem added a sixth.

A second from Mokhtari - again from a free-kick - then sealed what proved a relatively comfortable win in the end, Iran ensuring they will head to the Bahamas as Asian champions.

Goals: 0-1: M. Mesigar, min. 10 (1); 0-2: P. Hosseini, min. 9 (1); 0-3: M. Mokhtari, min. 2 (1); 0-4: M. Mesigar, min. 6 (2); 1-4: Humaid, min. 4 (2); 2-4: Haitham, min. 2 (2); 2-5: A. Akbari, min. 0 (2); 2-6: A. Nazem, min. 4 (3); 2-7: M. Mokhtari, min. 1 (3)