Sun Mar 12, 2017 8:46AM
Iran men's national futsal team (file photo)
Iran men's national futsal team (file photo)

Iran men's national futsal team has emerged with a narrow victory in a friendly match against Iraq in the southern Iranian city of Shiraz.

On Saturday evening, the hosts fell behind in the opening minutes of the fixture at Sadra Sports Hall of the Islamic Azad University as the Iraqi outfit got off to a sound start, and managed to take an early lead.

The Persians then vigorously pursued an equalizer, and Morteza Ezzati fired into the back of the net before the first period ended.

The Iranian futsal players maintained their pressure on the Iraqi team as they returned to action. They took the lead to go 2-1 ahead, when Shahab Talebi shot on a volley directed at Iraq’s goalpost.

The visitors, however, did not capitulate and battled back to take a 2-2 draw.

Finally, Sajjad Bani Sa’di’s goal tacked just before the end of regulation time secured Iran’s 3-2 victory over Iraq.

The Iranian and Iraqi men’s national futsal teams are scheduled to play another scrimmage at 4 p.m. local time (1230 GMT) on Sunday.

According to the latest monthly classification published by the Asociación Mundial de Futsal (AMF), which is the governing body of futsal, the Iranian squad has preserved its position as Asia’s best and stayed put in the sixth place of the world’s overall standings. Team Melli Futsal earned 1,608 points.

Kazakhstan maintained the 9th slot in the latest AMF rankings with 1,451 points. The Central Asians are followed by Thais and the Japanese, who have claimed the 15th and 16th places respectively with 1,360 and 1,359 points.

Brazil is the top-ranked futsal team in the world with 1,916 points. Spaniards notched up 1,889 points to sit in the second position, while third-placed Russians kept their position with 1,763 points. Argentina collected 1,706 points to stand fourth.