Anápolis (GO) -
Paraguay and Iran played for third place of the 6th Futsal Grand Prix this Saturday (23/10), at the Newton de Faria Arena, in Anápolis (GO). In a close game, the teams drew 3 x 3 in normal time, and in extra-time, the South Americans made it 2 x 0 and got the bronze medal.
It was the best finish for Paraguay in the competition, improving on the fourth place of 2008. As for the Iranians, who were runners-up in 2007 and 2009, they finished in fourth. Happy with the achievement, the Paraguayan team left the court singing and celebrating the campaign.
“I think that the technical superiority of our team shone through in the end. We remained concentrated during the whole game. Fatigue played an important part and fortunately we got the win, said Yiyi.
It was a game based more on will to win and the ability to overcome than technique. Due to the fatigue from the previous games, it made it hard for both teams to attack at the beginning. However, neither team paid much attention to this and played a busy first half.
More concentrated, Iran was better at taking the chances it created and went up 2 x 0 on the score, with goals from Hassanzadeh, on 3min17, and Keshavarz, on 17min58.
In the second half, the Iranians got tired and retreated. Taking advantage of this, Paraguay knew how to pressure and came back to take the lead. On 23min02, Yiyi, tied the game. On 29min04, César Mangelos started a counter and put the South Americans in front.
The comeback made Iran focus again, and they immediately brought on another player in the place of the keeper to look for the draw, which came almost at the end of match, in a difficult moment for the Asians. On 39min17, Keshavarz had been sent-off and left the team with less one player. But, showing grit, Moghadam, 12 seconds later, got to the end of a cross and tied the game. Extra-time
Extra-time began with the Paraguayans pressuring, trying to take advantage of having one player more. But the Iranians were smart and managed to keep the game tied. However, because of the tension, both teams went over the limit of fouls and on 44min28, Yiyi hit a direct free-kick straight to the back of the net and put the Paraguayans back in front.
The second half of extra-time was about Iran trying to find the draw. Because of the nervousness and fatigue, the Asian team missed many goal chances. In the end, Iran even hit the post, but ten seconds left to go, Cholo, shot over the keeper and gave the Paraguayans the victory at 5 to 3.