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29 Jan 2018
Ahmadzadeh inspires Iran to title defence
The hosts successfully retained their Persian Beach Soccer Cup title on Monday.
A hat-trick from Mohammadali Ahmadzadeh helped Iran see off a spirited Spain side 4-2 on Monday as the hosts deservedly retained their Persian Beach Soccer Cup title.
With both sides picking up maximum points over the weekend, the winner of Monday’s finale would be ensured the first silverware of the 2018 calendar and Ahmadzadeh’s treble proved critical in seeing off Spain.
The forward struck inside the final minute of both the second and third periods to keep Spain at bay, Marco Octavio’s youthful Iran side finishing with a 100 per cent record in Busehr.
Moslem Mesigar got the ball rolling for the hosts when he diverted a strike in from close range amid a frantic opening the title decider.
Antonio Mayor had Spain’s first opportunity when he sent an overhead kick just off target but shortly after Iran’s lead was doubled as Mohammad Ahmadzadeh nodded in Hamid Behzadpour’s throw to beat the onrushing Dona.
It gave the home side a solid advantage going into the interval, despite late Spanish pressure that continued into the second frame as Joaquin Alonso’s sought a way back into the contest. Eduard Suarez’s prodded strike wide of the post was swiftly followed by another attempt from Fernando Guisado as the visitors asked questions of their hosts.
Eventually, experienced defender Antonio halved the deficit and bolstered Spanish hopes with a powerful downward header to leave Behzadpour helpless.
At the other end Cristian was ay his best to keep Ahmadzadeh’s overhead effort out but the forward did beat the Spain goalkeeper when he planted a free-kick into the top right-hand corner to send momentum back in Iran’s direction.
Early in the third, Llorenc Gomez responded with a cool set-piece of his own with Spain going close to an equaliser on a number of occasions thereafter. Mohammad Moradi went close to sealing the points for Iran when he headed wide in the latter stages but, when Ahmadzadeh cleverly turned and finished inside the area, the hosts were ensured a successful defence of their title.
Earlier, Ukraine ensured themselves third place after clinching a thrilling 4-3 win against Azerbaijan.
In the battle to avoid bottom spot, the 2016 European champions fell behind early on and were even pegged back to 3-3 having led 3-1 going into the final 12 minutes.
However, doubles from Maksym Voitok and Oleg Zborovskyi helped do the damage as Ukraine eventually saw off their opponents in the final minute of the match.
Ukraine 4-3 Azerbaijan
Iran 4-2 Spain
MVP: Mohammad Moradi (IRN)
Best Goalkeeper: Dona (ESP)
Top Scorers: Mohammadali Ahmadzadeh (IRN), Llorenc Gomez (ESP) and Oleg Zborovskyi (UKR)