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AFC finalists Iran, UAE qualify for FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup
Both nations will head to the Bahamas, with one going as AFC champions.
Iran and the UAE qualified for the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup on Friday and did so by winning their respective AFC Beach Soccer Championship semi-finals in Kuala Terengganu, Malaysia.
UAE were first into the final, and the first to book their tickets to the Bahamas, as they beat Lebanon on penalties, while Iran overcame Japan later to ensure they will get a shot at the world title in Nassau.
The UAE became the first Asian team to reach the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup 2017 when they saw off Lebanon 2-1 in their shoot-out, having ended extra-time at 4-4.
Lebanon fought back from 3-1 down to lead 4-3 thanks partly to a Mohamad Merhi brace, but, after the UAE recovered to force extra time and penalties, the skipper was the only one to register for the men in red.
Haitham Fattal and Moustafa Al Zein both faltered while Haitham Mohamed and Hasham Muntaser registered for the UAE.
Iran - FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup quarter-finalists in the last two editions - saw off a stubborn Japan outfit 8-6 thanks to braces from Mohammad Ahmadzaedh and Moslem Mesigar.
Mohammad Hoseyn Mirshamsi’s men will now look to sign off their AFC campaign with a second continental title while Japan and Lebanon will compete for the final FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup place in their play-off.
14.30: UAE (2) 4-4 (1) Lebanon
16.00: Iran 8-6 Japan
14.00: Third-place play-off
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