AFC Beach Soccer Championship 2017
09 Mar 2017

AFC Beach Soccer Championship press conferences

The coaches of all four semi-finalists previewed their respective clashes on Thursday.

Ahead of the AFC Beach Soccer semi-finals on Friday, the coaches of Iran, Japan, Lebanon and the UAE attended press conferences in Kuala Terrenganu to preview their respective ties.

While Iran take on Japan in the second semi at 16.00 local time, Lebanon face UAE at 14.30, as all four teams bid to reach Saturday’s showpiece and qualify for the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup as a result.

Both finalists and the winner of the third-place play-off will gain qualification for the global event in the Bahamas.

Iran coach Mohammed Hoseyn Mirshamsi said: “Japan are one of the best-ranked teams in the world. It will be hard for us and the match will surely be difficult. But we'll do our best.

"We saw Japan play yesterday against the UAE and know how they play. We will use our strengths against Japan. Our goalkeeper can also score to counter their power play if necessary, so that's a strength that we'll use against them.

“Definitely we will not underestimate the Japanese. We are ready for the game tomorrow and all Iranians are happy with us advancing to the semi-finals. We look forward to an exciting game and hopefully we’ll qualify for the World Cup.”

Lebanon coach Alex Braga said: “I’m happy with the result yesterday that showed my team’s never-surrender attitude. Beach soccer is like that. A game finishes only when it finishes. I thank my team for putting up a good fight against the defending champions.

“The UAE is a different team and they have very experienced players and they will definitely give us a hard time. They've been playing beach soccer for a long time, but we'll do our best to beat them and advance to the final and the World Cup.”

Japan coach Marcelo Mendes said: “There’s a plus and also a risk in power play. We can score during our play power and the opponents can also score against us. It was very unfortunate for us to concede after we started our power play but that’s a risk you have to take if you want to up your game when trailing your opponents.

“It’s an option that we had. UAE played very hard yesterday and was different from what we expected. So in the end, we all had to take our chances and did what we had to do. It depends on the situation tomorrow whether we’ll implement power play.

“Iran are a very experienced side. But it’s good to fight one of the strongest teams and tomorrow will be important for us all as the tickets to the World Cup are at stake. It will be a hard game for us and them too but we'll do our best.”

UAE coach Mohamed Abbas said: “Lebanon is a tough team team they have shown that they’ll play until the last second. They’ll never give up. We know we have to up our game and not give up easily too.

“Both teams want to make it to the final and the World Cup so I’m sure tomorrow’s game will be a test of nerves for both sides, but we’ll do our best and try to bring home the title and a place in the world showpiece.”

June 22, 2018 - June 24, 2018
Division A - Group 1
Belarus BLR 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
France FRA 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Azerbaijan AZE 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Portugal POR 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Division A - Group 2
Ukraine UKR 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Germany GER 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Italy ITA 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Swizerland SUI 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
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