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Japan ended Iran’s run to the final undefeated and stopped them from winning their 13th title out of 16 editions
On Saturday, Kenichiro Kogure’s side showed tremendous grit to come from behind to reclaim the trophy they last won in 2014, taking their overall tally to four titles.
In this match, which was held at the Saad Al-Abdullah Sports Hall Complex in Kuwait at 20:30 (local time), Japan defeated Iran, the most honored team in Asia, 3-2, and were crowned the champions.
Iran, who had scored 37 goals en route to reaching the final, started as aggressively as ever with Hossein Tayebi and Alireza Rafiei Pour making early attempts at goal.
Japan captain Arthur Oliveira, however, nearly stunned the defending champions in the eighth minute when his attempt off Soma Mizutani’s pass rocked the crossbar.
Iran’s waves of attacks continued in the opening minutes of the second half with Abbasi and Moslem Oladghobad forcing parries out of Kuromoto in the opening minutes but Rafiei Pour’s foul on Shimizu in the 27th minute gave Japan a lifeline.
The goal stunned Iran – who had only conceded two goals in their previous five matches – into action as they increased the intensity of their attacks in search of the equaliser.
With the clock ticking, Iran head coach Vahid Shamsaee employed power play for the first time in Iran’s campaign with Tayebi donning the keeper’s jersey in the 36th minute.
Tayebi came closest in the 39th minute with his strike deflecting off the upright but there was to be more woe for Iran with Abbasi slotting the ball into the back of his own net in the final 30 seconds.
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