|Iran wins Asian beach soccer championship on penalties||
Iran made history by winning the Asian beach soccer championship for the first time on Saturday.
Iran came back from a 6-3 deficit to secure a 6-6 draw against Japan in regulation time of the final of the Asian qualifiers for the 2013 FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup.
There were no goals in the two 3-minute extra periods.
But the Persians finally defeated the defending Asian champions 5-4 on penalties at Doha’s Katara Beach.
“I am so happy, since we defeated a strong team. Japan is one of the best Asian teams. I think we can make the semifinals in the World Cup,” Iran’s Brazilian coach, Marco Octavio, said after the game.
In an important third-place playoff played to fill the remaining slot for the World Cup, the United Arab Emirates defeated Australia 3-2.
Japan’s Osmar Moreira was selected as the tournament’s most valuable player and Iran’s Moslem Mesigar was the top scorer with 11 goals.
Iran, Japan, and the United Arab Emirates secured Asia’s three qualifying berths for the 2013 FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup, which will be held in Tahiti from September 18 to 28.
Iran will be participating in the Beach Soccer World Cup for the fifth time.
A total of 16 Asian nations competed in the five-day qualifiers, which were held at Katara Beach in Doha.
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