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Coach Udon Taveesuk led Thailand to their first-ever gold medal in the women’s futsal.
Late double gives Thailand first women’s futsal title


25 Sep 2017
Ashgabat, September 25, 2017: Thailand claimed their first-ever gold medal in the women’s futsal on Monday evening, defeating pre-tournament favourites and defending champions Japan 3-1 in the final. Jiraprapa Nimrattanasing opened the scoring before goals from Darika Peanpailun and Jenjira Bubpha late in the second half gave the Thais the gold medal after Akari Takao’s equaliser had looked set to take the game in extra-time.

The win is Thailand’s first in the competition after two runners-up finishes and a pair of bronze medal placings in the last four competitions. “This is an historic gold medal for us, so this was why we were so eager to get this medal,” said Thailand coach Udon Taveesuk “About two months ago we had a friendly match against Japan, so that gave us a chance to learn everything about their team and the individual players and it means that this result is very satisfying.

“We are happy with this great performance that you have just seen.” There was a thrilling climax to an otherwise cagey game as Japan’s grip on the gold medal was prized open by a determined Thai side that celebrated in style when the final whistle sounded.

Jiraprapa gave the Thais the lead with a shot from outside the arc just minutes before the end of the first half, but it was the Japanese who were on the front foot throughout the second period. Their pressure paid off five minutes from the end when Takao scored from close range, only for the Thais to reclaim the lead less than a minute later through Darika.

With time running out, Japan started to take risks at the back and, with goalkeeper Ayaka Yamamoto replaced by outfield player Shiori Nakajima, Jenjira claimed possession on the halfway line before slammed the ball into the empty net from distance.

Earlier in the evening, Iran handed China a 5-1 defeat to take the bronze medal, with Sara Shirbeigi scoring a hat-trick and Fereshteh Karimi a brace for the 2013 silver medallists. Dong Jiabao was on target for China.
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