Vahid Shamsaei and his Team Melli men are seeking to make their 14th final appearance as the 2022 AFC Futsal Asian Cup gathers momentum with promising semi-final clashes.
Iran, the competition’s most successful team, has marched on a perfect run, dispatching oppositions in devastating styles, and recording mind-blowing wins on the road to the semis.
Kick-off time: 20:00
Venue: Saad Al Abdullah Hall, Kuwait City
Vietnam was the unlucky side that had to face the wrath of the free-scoring Western Asians in the semi-final clash at the Saad Al Abdullah Hall.
The contest saw leading scorer Hossein Tayyebi bagging an incredible hat-trick as the 12-time champions claimed an 8-1 victory.
The Vietnam strike force, which produced a lowly 8 goals in Group D, had few questions to ask about the watertight defense of the serial winners with the Persians securing a memorable triumph.
Thailand, who were winners of Group A, secured a 3-2 win over the tournament’s surprise package – Tajikistan, after edging them 3-2. It was a nail-biting contest that saw the Small Tables fight from behind to secure the dramatic victory.
- During Wednesday’s pre-match press conference at the Saad Al Abdullah Hall Press Conference Room, Thailand’s head coach Carlos César Núñez Gago confirmed two of his players are nursing injuries. However, the Spaniard insisted the absence of the two players won’t affect his tactics and plans going into the game.
- Iran trainer Vahid Shamsaei confirmed his entire 14-player squad has been passed fit for the game. However, the former Iran international revealed during the pre-match presser that some members of his medical team have fallen sick ahead of the game.
- Thailand has not lost any of its last five games (W 3 D2 L0).
- The Small Tables have scored 16 goals and conceded 9 in the last five games.
- 9 of Thailand’s 16 goals from their last 5 games have come in the first period.
- Thailand has beaten Iraq, Oman, and Tajikistan in the competition so far.
- Thailand has scored 14 goals en route to the semi-final of the competition (11 group stage goals and 3 in the quarter-final).
- The Thais defeated Finland on penalties in the Continental Championship last month after drawing 2-2 in regulation time.
- Iran has failed to win just 1 of their last 5 games (W4 D0 L1)
- Team Melli lost 4-3 to Morocco during the Continental Championship last month.
- The Persians have scored 35 goals in their last 5 games and conceded just 6 goals.
- 17 first-period goals and 18 second-period games for Iran.
WHAT THE STATISTICS SAY
- Thursday’s encounter will be the 8th time Thailand will be playing a semi-final game in the competition (2000, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2008, 2012, and 2016)
- The Small Tables have scored 19 semi-final goals and conceded 26 in the previous 7 semi-final games
- This would be the fourth semi-final encounter between Iran and Thailand in the AFC Futsal Asian Cup – Iran (W) 8-2 Thailand (2000), Iran (W) 6-1 Thailand (2004), Iran 4-5 Thailand (win) (2012).
- Thailand has conceded 18 goals against Iran in the 3 previous semi-finals games against Iran and scored just 8
- The Thais have won just 2 of their 7 previous semi-final games at the competition (W2 L5) – in the 2016 edition, Uzbekistan won 3-1 on penalties against Thailand after a 2-2 draw in the regulation minute.
- Thailand has reached the final twice (2008 and 2012) but has failed to win the ultimate.
- Thailand’s 14-goal in the tournament so far is an average of 3.5 goals per game.
- Jetsada Chudech, Sarawut Phalaphruek, and Worasak Srirangpirot have all scored 3 goals each for Thailand.
- Iran has scored 931 goals so far in 97 games in the competition since 1999.
- Iran scores an average of 9.59 goals per game and concedes an average of 1.42 goals per game in the competition since 1999
- Iran has a win rate of 86.66% in the semi-final of the AFC Futsal Asian Cup.
- Only Japan (2006) and Thailand (2012) are the only sides to have prevented Iran from reaching the final.
- Iran has scored 98 goals and conceded 29 in 15 semi-final games in the tournament.
- Only six (6) different oppositions have been able to score against Iran in the semi-finals (Japan, Thailand, Uzbekistan, Kuwait, Vietnam, and South Korea).
- Iran has kept a clean sheet three times in the semi-finals.
- Iran scores an average of 8 goals per game in the 19th edition.
- Iran coach Vahid Shamsaei was the top scorer in the 2001, and 2003, editions of the competition with 31 goals
HEAD 2 HEAD IN THE COMPETITION
- Iran (W) 8-2 Thailand (2000) – Semi-finals
- Iran (W) 6-1 Thailand (2004) – Semi-finals
- Iran 4-5 Thailand (W) (2012) – Semi-finals
- Thailand 1 – 10 Iran (W) (1999) – Group stage
- Iran 3 – 3 Thailand (2005) (D) – Second round
- Iran (W) 6 – 3 Thailand (2006) – Group stage
- Thailand 0 – 4 Iran (W) (2008) – Final
- Iran (W) 9–1 Thailand (2018) – Quarter-finals
Iran wins – 6
Thailand wins – 1
Draws – 1
GOALS IN IRAN VS THAILAND GAMES AT THE AFC FUTSAL ASIAN CUP
Iran – 50
Thailand – 16
Thailand Vs – Katawut Hankampa, Jetsada Chudech, Sarawut Phalaphruek, Warut Wangsama-Aeo, Worasak Srirangpirot
Iran Vs – Saed Momeni, Hossein Tayebi Bidgoli, Salar Aghapour, Alireza Javan Shahkhali, Mahdi Karimi
Thailand 1-6 Iran