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Lak grateful for solid first-half show
Thursday, 30 June 2011 07:59
futsalwireDoha: Shahid Mansouri boss Reza Lak felt his side's first-half performance laid the foundations for their 6-5 victory over hosts Al Rayyan that saw the Iranians secure a meeting with Nagoya Oceans in Friday's AFC Futsal Club Championship 2011 final.

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Doha: Shahid Mansouri boss Reza Lak felt his side's first-half performance laid the foundations for their 6-5 victory over hosts Al Rayyan that saw the Iranians secure a meeting with Nagoya Oceans in Friday's AFC Futsal Club Championship 2011 final.

Leading 3-1 at the break in the semi-final encounter at Al Rayyan Main Hall, Shahid seemed comfortably on their way to a meeting with the Japanese.

But the hosts fought back and Hassan Zadeh's late penalty squared the contest only for Mohammad Keshavarz's goal in the first period of extra time to finally see off their plucky rivals.

"It was a very tough game, we played well in the first-half but in the second-half we dropped off a little," said Lak.

"I advised my players to control themselves as we had committed many fouls and any mistakes could lead to a goal.

We could control the game and in the end we were able to win.

"We were winning 3-1 at the interval but in the second-half we faded a little bit and Al Rayyan were able to come back." Lak also paid tribute to Ali Rahnama's contribution after he netted twice having only arrived in Doha hours before the game due to passport problems.

"Ali Rahnama is one of the most important players for me," added Lak.

"He just arrived this morning, I played him and he produced a good performance.

He did not train with the team so I wanted to use him as much as possible to prepare him for the final, if we got there." Al Rayyan coach Hassan Ghouila, meanwhile, praised a spirited display from his injury-ravaged side.

"I thank my players because they played well and they were up against one of the strongest teams in Asia," he said.

"We only played with six players due to injuries, I could only make one substitution.

I was missing a lot of my players and two played injured.

"So one player played 40 minutes without being substituted and this is hard in futsal.

Any player who plays more than six minutes will be very tired so most of my players were very tired but I thank them for their performance."