Holders Iran took a step closer to the semifinals when they defeated hosts Qatar 9-3 in Group A match of the Men’s Indoor Asia Cup 2017 at the Aspire Dome on Tuesday. With this win, Iran top the group ahead with six points while Malaysia, who beat Oman 9-2, are second on four points.
If Qatar, who have just a point, manages to beat Malaysia today and by a good margin, they can stand a chance to make it to the last four from the group. Qatar’s best performance came in the last edition in Taldykorgan, Kazakhstan, two years ago when they finished fourth behind Iran, the hosts and Uzbekistan.
Meanwhile, Kazakhstan, who finished runners-up in the 2015 edition, were held to a 4-4 draw by Uzbekistan in a Group B match. Thailand notched up their first win in the tournament, beating Chinese Taipei 3-1.
In the women’s category, defending champions Kazakhstan, who lead the table with nine points, hammered China 11-0 after pumping half-a-dozen in the first half and then beat Thailand 3-0, but the Uzbeks punished the Chinese with a mammoth 17-0 win.
Only one women team will progress to the Indoor World Cup in Germany next year while two top men’s team will secure a berth.
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