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Ashgabat: Japan have accomplished their revenge mission and are now set to finish a familiar journey towards a fourth successive Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games women’s Futsal title.

A 2-0 victory against old rivals Islamic Republic of Iran in the semi-finals has earned them a spot in the gold medal match against Thailand at the Multifunctional Sport Venue on Monday.

Japan have been motivated by revenge since losing to Iran in the final of the inaugural Asian Football Confederation Championship in Malaysia in 2015.

Their defensive excellence, two goals from Mutsumi Sakata and an inspired display by goalkeeper Ayaka Yamamoto took them into the final.

But now their thoughts are fixed only on beating Thailand in the final to win their fourth successive Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games title.

"We owe it to the former Futsal players of Japan to win this again,” Sakata said. “We have to continue this title hold. The most important thing is for us to win the tournament and not just to beat IR Iran."

Japan coach Masanori Ito predicts a clash of styles which could make it a classic final.

“It will be about our teamwork and our defensive strategy against Thailand’s attacking play,” Ito said. “It will be a good match to watch.”

Japan rode their luck against Iran who had 39 shots, 16 of them on target, but failed to score.

“We really had bad luck,” Iran coach Shahrzad Mozafar said. “The performance of my players was perfect.

"I think the result is not fair for this kind of performance, but this is Futsal and we have to accept the result and respect that.”

Thailand have won two silver medals and two bronze in previous women’s Futsal tournaments at the Games, and they are confident they are developing a championship winning team.

They outclassed China PR 4-1 in the semi-finals on Sunday with two more goals from Sasicha Phothiwong confirming her position as the tournament leading scorer with eight goals.

Thailand are unbeaten in three games at Ashgabat 2017 and team manager Adisak Benjasiriwan believes they have the attacking strength to beat Japan.

"Before we came here we had a successful tour to Japan and we won the SEA Games in Malaysia in August," said Benjasiriwan. “We have developed a good team in terms of combinations and tactics.

"They are improving step by step. Also this year we have just started a national club league so we have some new players to play alongside the senior players.

"The one thing we need to improve more is our physical condition. I think it is important for us to win the gold medal to maintain our good progress."

Top scorer Phothiwong is looking to add to her medal haul from previous editions of the Games.

"I have two bronze and one silver medal," she said. “Now it is time to win the gold."

The bronze medal match between Iran and China will take place at 17:00 (local time) with the gold medal match between Japan and Thailand scheduled for 19:00 at the Multifunctional Sport Venue.

ROAD TO FINAL Goals scored               Conceded                  Top scorer                          Last meeting
Japan: v China PR 5-2; v Hong Kong 3-2; v Turkmenistan 8-0; v IR Iran 2-0               18 4 Ryo Egawa
4 goals      

Macau 2007 Final 

2-2 aet 
(Japan won 3-1 on pen)

Thailand: v Palestine 16-1; v IR Iran 2-0;
v China PR 4-1                                          
22 2 Sasicha Phothiwong
  8 goals