Iran two matches away from AFC Futsal Asian Cup title

TEHRAN, Oct. 06 (MNA) – Iran are two matches away from defending their AFC Futsal Asian Cup title, but have been warned to expect a fired up Thailand in the semifinals on Thursday.

Iran have been in impeccable form as they bid for a record-extending 13th title but twice runners-up Thailand are also bidding to create history in Kuwait 2022.

Thailand head coach Carlos Cesar Gago holds Iran in high regard but believes his charges can pull off an upset, the-afc.com reported.

“We are taking this tournament game by game. We know Iran, and their potential,” said Cesar Gago.

“Iran are the reference not just tactically or skill-wise, but I admire their spirit as well. It’s not easy to be champions in so many editions. All the other teams in Asia need to get to that level. To get their winning spirit, it’s not easy for any team. 

“We know it will be difficult, but we will try to do something to surprise Iran and play in the final. 

“In the history of (futsal in) Asia, Iran have dominated and all our players will have to deal with that pressure. And we will try tomorrow.”

Iran head coach Vahid Shamsaei expects an even tougher challenge as they will be playing for high stakes at the Saad Al Abdullah Hall. 

“We have got a good challenge in Thailand,” said Shamsaei. “They are a good team, but as always we are looking for a win. We just focus on our own performance and go for the win. 

“We played in the continental futsal championship to prepare for this competition. We tried to improve on our weaknesses, and we wanted to improve our skills. But in this tournament, our players are hungry to win. This is an official competition, and we are ready for it. 

“Tomorrow’s match will be different, we want to control the match. It’s not our goal to score a lot, but we want to control it. Since this is a match to reach the final, we can’t make any mistakes in this match.”

MA/TT

News Code 192140

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