Iran survived a scare against Japan to record their fourth successive win of the 2016 Kabaddi World Cup. Iran ran out eventual winners as they beat Japan 38-34 to go top of Group B at the TransStadia Arena in Ahmedabad. Japan’s raiders outscored Iran but it wasn’t enough as they fell short in the first half.
Iran are now top of Group B with 20 points from four games whereas Japan are second with 10 points from three games.
Iran began brightly and led 6-1 after six minutes as Japan struggled to get a foothold in the game. Iran, one of the favourites for the tournament, looked in brilliant form as they barely gave Japan an inch in the game. Kazuohiro Takano scored Japan’ second point as they trailed 2-12 in the ninth minute.
Meraj Sheykh scored four points in the first half for Iran. Iran dominated the first half and led 19-9 at the break.
Iran began the second half in the same dominating style as Meraj Sheykh’s raid culminated into an all out with Iran leading 26-9 after 23 minutes. Japan put up a strong fight in the second half and matched Iran for the last 20 minutes. Iran forced another all out in the 33rd minute to lead 35-18.
Japan mounted a strong comeback in the last seven minute as they scored 10 points in a row to trail 28-35 in 37th minute.
Masayuki Shimokawa scored eight points for Japan but it was a valiant effort to make a comeback for his team. Iran showed their experience and held their nerve to fight back against Japan’s late show. Iran ran out eventual winners as they beat Iran 38-34.