Iran stamp class but Argentina show promise
Dubai, Jun 23 (PTI) Argentina showed promise but they proved no match to World Cup runners-up Iran who cruised to a 54-24 win for their second successive victory in the Kabaddi Masters here today.
Playing their only second International tournament, the football-crazy nation got the first point on the board with a successful defence before racing to 3-0 lead.
But what transpired next was a heavily tilted affair as the Iranians despite coming with a depleted side stamped their authority to take a 37-7 lead at half-time, inflicting three all-outs.
Argentina were done in by their lack of experience and poor team work as Emad Sedaghatnia led the scoring charts for Iran with 11 points.
Argentina showed great heart in the second half and even managed to get an all-out in the 37th minute as their was a big ovation for the football-crazy nation.
Highlighting the big gulf between the two nations, Argentina coach and president of the national federation Ricardo Acuna said, "Iran have played almost 100 International matches whereas we are playing our first International tournament. We are really proud of the way we played."
He pointed out that they have improved a lot scoring 24 points today, compared to the first time they faced Iran in a World Cup warmup match in Ahmedabad 2016.
"We had lost by 12-77 then. So it's a big improvement," he said pointing out that the whole nation has a single kabaddi mat for practice at La Plata.
"Taekwondo and Judo people have mats but they do not help us. We have players who travel 300 kilometres to practice here. So we train on sand or grass," he said.
The six-nation kabaddi tournament is supported by Dubai Sports Council and Star India Pvt Ltd