Japan and Iran to decide Asian Cup title

The defending champions eliminated the United Arab Emirates while the Iranians defeated Oman

The Jomtien Beach Arena in Pattaya, Thailand, will host one of the most exciting clashes in beach soccer as Japan and Iran will face each other to define who is the winner of the 2023 Asian Beach Soccer Cup. While, the Samurai Blue will aim for the fourth title in their ninth presence in the final, Iran will try to keep a perfect record on their third presence in the final.

Second consecutive final for the Japanese

Takaaki Oba scored the opener in the fourth minute, collecting Shinya Shibamoto’s long throw to score past UAE’s diving goalkeeper Mohamed Abdulla.

UAE attempted to equalize soon after, with Ahmed Beshr’s volley hitting the side netting off Waleed Beshr’s corner. However, it was Japan who increased their lead in the 11th minute through Takahito Yamada’s free-kick.

In the second period, UAE fought back with Rashed Yaqoub scoring from the penalty line to reduce the deficit. But Japan responded, with tournament-leading scorer Takuya Akaguma netting a brace.

Despite UAE’s attempts to fight back, they couldn’t find the back of the net, and Japan sealed their win with Shusei Yamauchi’s solo effort.

Iran return to a final six years later

Mohammasali Mokhtari put Iran ahead from the penalty spot in the fifth minute, only for Sami Al Bulushi to level for Oman moments later. Mohammad Moradi’s close-range header gave Iran the lead once again, but Oman responded with a Khalid Aloraimi free-kick.

In the second period, Iran dominated and scored three goals through Mokhtari, Abbas Rezaei, and Ali Mirshekari. Oman managed to pull one back through Moslem Mesigar’s own goal, but Amir Akbari’s stunning volley in the 33rd minute sealed the win for Iran.

RESULTS (25/03)
United Arab Emirates 1-5 Japan
Iran 6-3 Oman

FIXTURES (26/03)
Iran – Japan

Third place play-off
UAE – Oman


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