Iran national team ended their Bahamas 2017 campaign on a high with a 5-3 win against Italy in the play-off for third place to become Asia’s highest ever finishers at the Beach Soccer World Cup.
The two teams had met during the group stage at Bahamas 2017 with Italy edging Iran 5-4 in a thrilling match. The Europeans scored first that day, but it was Iran’s turn this time. Mohammad Ahmadzadeh scored his seventh goal of the tournament when he put away a second-chance opportunity after Moslem Mesigar’s shot was parried into his path.
Ahmadzadeh scored his second of the match early in the second period on another second-chance opportunity to take his overall tally to eight, according to FIFA’s official website.
Mohammad Mokhtari then struck a phenomenal overhead kick to give Iran a three-goal cushion, which was fitting as Iran have attempted the most overhead kicks of anyone in the Bahamas.
Italy got back into the match courtesy of none other than Gabriele Gori. Two goals took him on to 17 – the second a curling effort from a set piece – to move him beyond Dejan Stankovic into second place for biggest hauls at a single competition. Less than a minute later, Mesigar scored his second of the tournament.
Dario Ramacciotti brought the Azzurri back to within one goal with a well-placed, close range header. But it wasn’t enough for the Italians as Ahmadzadeh completed his hat-trick with a late penalty to ultimately seal Iran’s place in the record books.
Iran’s third-place finish is best ever for Asian Football Confederation.
Italy also finished in fourth place for second consecutive FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup.