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21 Jun 2012
Iran conquers gold on Chinese soil
The Persian reign in the Asian Beach Games after edging the hosts in the final, as Palestine beats Lebanon for the bronze
The Iran National team ended up as the gold medalists in this III Asian Beach Games. The Persian, edged China on their own home, in the final of a competition that has meant, above anything, a new and firm step forward in an Asian Beach Soccer which turns more and more competitive every tournament. The bigger experience of the Iranians, who had taken part in most of the FIFA Beach Soccer world Cups played so far -what becomes a real evidence about their outstanding role in the continent-, prevailed this time. Despite playing against such a spirited defense as the Chinese one, the Persian side managed to find the cracks in their resistance to unbalance things on their favour and edn up clinching a prize they had never had access to before.
First, it was the strong defender Abdollahi, whose long-range shot found the terrain’s collaboration to evade the Chinese goalie’s efforts past. With the score yet unleveled, although only slightly, it was Ongaro’s side the ones who needed to think, mainly, on the other end, something Iran took advantage of, getting more spaces and more seconds to decide what step to take next. With the match heading to its end, and China needing to run flat out into attack, another of the everyday-heroes in Iran, Ahmadzadeh, widened the distance and almost decided the game, as the two minutes remaining were not enough for the hosts to turn the score around. The silver medal, though, means the highest record for China in the competition, as well as their best continental result, quite a remarkable reward to share with the thousands of supporters cheering them from the beginning of the competition.
Goals: 0-1: Abdollahi, min. 3 (2); 0-2: Ahmadzadeh, min. 2 (3)
The bronze medal flies to Palestine
Palestine edged Lebanon in the match for the third place in this III Asian Beach Games. In a thrilling game facing the two most surprising teams in this edition, none of which had made it to the semifinals of the competition ever before, the Palestinians proved better aimed to clinch the medals in an amusingly leveled match. Despite an early Palestinian run of 0-3 in the first period, the Lebanese kept believing in their possibilities and began a tough pursuit which, although never getting them to equalize the score, did manage to have the people in the stands holding their breath for such an uncertain conclusion.
With key men of each of the sides doing their jobs, the distance in the score never got too wide after Lebanon counteracted the triple strike by Palestine in the first minutes. Atiya, Alsdudi, Salem and Esbahir got their names in the match record again, just as Merhie, Nasserine, Al Saleh and Mechleb Matar did. This time, the Lebanese brightest star, captain Fattal, was not lucky enough to find the back of Jaber’s nets, and his team definitely missed his contribution, despite he tried as hard as he could. With the final 5-6, then, Palestine sealed their bronze-winning victory on the sand of Haiyang, thus making a huge achievement in the sport’s history of a country which is doing great efforts for their international growth.
Goals: 0-1: Atiya, min. 9 (1); 0-2: Alsdudi, min. 6 (1); 0-3: Atiya, min. 3 (1); 1-3: Merhie, min. 1 (1) ; 2-3 : Nasserdine, min. 10 (2) ; 2-4 : Salem, min. 9 (2) ; 2-5 : Salem, min. 5 (2) ; 3-5 : Merhie, min. 9 (3) ; 4-5 : Al Saleh, min. 4 (3); 4-6: Eshbair, min. 3 (3); 5-6: Mechleb Matar, min. 2 (3)
Thursday, June 21st
18:30 - Lebanon 5-6 Palestine - 3rd/4th place final
20:00 - China 0-2 Iran – FINAL
Gold Medalists: Iran
Silver Medalists: China
Bronze Medalists: Palestine