Thai Son Nam of Viet Nam sent Pelindo FC of Indonesia home from the qualifiers of the AFC Futsal Club Championship on Saturday after a 2-2 draw in the second Group B round match at the Panasonic Sports Complex in Malaysia.
Thai Son Nam came twice from behind to draw and hold top with four points. The team was the nemesis of Pelindo a year ago when they booked a ticket to the final at the expense of Indonesia, 2-1 in extra time in the third-place playoff.
"It's part of the game. We had to defend a slender lead with a man down and Viet Nam (Thai Son Nam) pounced on the chance," Pelindo coach Dadang Iskandar said.
"Thai Son Nam are very good side and I am proud that it was one of the best futsal matches of the competition. They have great stamina and are a speed side, but our boys were in total control of the match when it was five against five."
Iskandar's counterpart Sergio Gargelli said dexterity always shone through when Indonesia and Viet Nam played.
"They produce huge drama because the Indonesians are very tricky, while we rely on speed. Some extra effort on our defense would have served us better.
Thai Son Nam will take on Chinese outfit Shenzhen Nanling while Australian Dural Warriors, the group's runner-up, face in-form Chonburi FC in today's semi-final.
The finalists and third-place playoff winner will book tickets to the August finals of the AFC Futsal Club Championship in Japan.-VNS