Iran have advanced to the quarter-finals of the Futsal World Cup, following a nerve-racking 9-8 win over Asian rivals Uzbekistan in the round of 16.
Iran moved ahead 3-1 in the first half thanks to goals from Asghar Hassanzadeh, Mahdi Javid and Saeid Abbasi.
The Uzbeks covered the gap in just 2 minutes but Farhad Tavakoli put Iran back into the lead moments before the break. Team Melli then raised the bar in the second half, with Abbasi and Javid scoring their second goals. Then, a goal from Uzbekistan was met with 2 more for Iran. But a sluggish defense triggered hopes of an Uzbeki comeback, as they recovered 2 goals. And if it wasn’t for Abbasi’s 3rd which took Iran’s tally to 9, a double quick-fire by the Uzbeks inside the final few minutes, could have been devastating. But the time ran out, and Iran walked away winners to meet Kazakhstan in the last 8 on Monday.