Iran booked their place in the second round of the FIFA Futsal World Cup with a 3-2 victory over Czech Republic at the Gimnasio Nilson Nelsen.
The Czechs needed a victory to ensure their place in the last eight, but they faced an in-form Iran side who fully deserved their win. Prompted by the lively Vahid Shamsaee and Mostafa Tayyebi, the west Asians dominated play from the outset, forcing opposing goalkeeper Tomas Meller into some early action.
The deadlock was broken after 17 minutes when Ali Hassanzadeh turned the ball in from a corner kick. Czech Republic's best chance of the half came with seconds of the first half remaining when Robert Mares brought a stunning reflex save from Mostafa Nazari.
Somewhat against the run of play, the Europeans found themselves level in the 28th minute when Lukas Resetar supplied Jan Janovsky who made no mistake. They could have found themselves ahead a minute later, but Martin Dlouhy fluffed his chance with only Nazari to beat.
Arguably the man of the match, Shamsaee put Iran ahead with nine minutes to play, but parity was restored just seconds later when Dlouhy made amends for his earlier miss.
The Czechs needed a win to advance to the next stage and so substituted their goalkeeper to pile more pressure on the Iranians. However, the plan backfired when Hassanzadeh fired the ball into the empty net to sent his team through and his opponents out.
Prior to this, Iran national futsal team defeated Uruguay, Libya and draw with Spain to clinch its qualification by a memorable victory against the Czech republic.
The Asian giant remained undefeated until the last day of group matches beside of the world champions Spain and is slated to face Brazil and see whether it's possible to reserve one of the top 4 berths so as to seal its final progression.