|Viet Nam overcame Kuwait 2-1 yesterday to finish second in group A and set up a quarterfinal game against Iran at the ongoing Asian Futsal Championship held at the Phu Tho Stadium in HCM City. — Photo dantri
HCM CITY (VNS) — Viet Nam overcame Kuwait 2-1 yesterday to finish second in group A and set up a quarterfinal game against Iran at the ongoing Asian Futsal Championship held at the Phu Tho Stadium in HCM City.
Le Quoc Nam broke the deadlock for the hosts in the 17th minute, deflecting home Phung Trong Luan's shot from the left wing. Luan doubled the advantage four minutes into the second half with a low shot past Kuwaiti custodian Hani Mhisen.
Abdulrahman Almosabehi pulled one goal back for Kuwait just five seconds from time to help his team top group A and win a quarterfinal clash against Australia.
"We are very happy because this is the first time in Viet Nam's futsal history that the country has reached the last eight," Viet Nam's Spanish coach Bruno Formoso said at the post-match press conference.
Kuwait's coach Luis Fonseca, also a Spaniard, said he was impressed with the support provided by Vietnamese fans. They had a strong influence on the game, he said.
"If the match was played in an empty stadium, we could have beaten Viet Nam, but the Vietnamese fans really put a lot of pressure on my players. It was wonderful to see the way fans cheer their team," Fonseca said.
Other Group A teams Iraq and Tajikistan were eliminated from the tournament.
In the previous match at the same venue, 10-time champions Iran showed why they were title favourites with an 8-1 thrashing of Australia.
Iran topped group B, winning all their three games. Having failed to win the trophy in two recent tournaments after lifting the trophy 10 times in a row since 1999, they will fancy their chances of lifting the trophy this year.
Refusing to be drawn into comparing this tournament with their previous experiences, Iran's Spanish coach Jesus Candelas said: "What happen's now is important for us."
Despite losing the match, Australia finished in second place in their group with wins over China and Indonesia, earning a meeting with group A toppers Kuwait.
"It is a long shot for all the other teams, not just Australia, to win the championships because Iran is a very strong team. They rank sixth in the world. Japan is also a strong team," said Australia's coach Steven John Knight. — VNS