|Up top: Qadsia's players from Kuwait celebrate after beating Thai Son Nam in the semi-final of the AFC Futsal Championships in Iran. — Photo the-afc.com
HA NOI (VNS) — Viet Nam's Thai Son Nam lost to Kuwait's Qadsia following a penalty shootout in the Asian Football Confederation Futsal Club Championship semi-final in Iran on Wednesday.
Goalkeeper Sayyedhassan Ebraheem saved two penalties to help his side win 2-1 at Nagshe Jahan Stadium, after the scores were level at 3-3 at the end of the official time.
Ebraheem saved penalties from Artur Yunusov and Tran Van Vu. The Vietnamese club had taken an early lead, before they were forced to make a late comeback to take proceedings into extra-time.
Thai Son Nam took the lead with a little more than a minute left on the clock, when Vu blasted his free kick through the defensive wall.
Abdulrahman Alwadi scored twice and Iranian international player Mohammad Taheri also scored, as Qadsia bounced back.
Goals by Phung Trong Luan and Yunusov in the second half ensured the game went into extra-time.
Despite the loss, Thai Son Nam coach Bruno Garcia praised his team and felt the Vietnamese side had done enough to advance to their first-ever final, only to be thwarted by Ebraheem.
"I'm proud of my team," the Spanish coach was quoted as saying on the-afc.com.
"They played a good game. The first half was for Qadsia, the second half was for my team. Extra-time was even. I think my team, after 50 minutes, should have been the victor."
He said his team were not the favourites going into the tournament and in the semi-finals. Thai Son Nam were playing against a good team with good foreign players, and his team had fought back.
"I thought my team deserved to be in the final, but this is a sport. The opposition goalkeeper was good on penalties, but we did very well," Garcia said.
"In this semi-final, Qadsia were the favourites. There is a tactical game and a psychological game. If the score is level after normal time and still level after both periods of extra-time, then the psychological advantage is with us if we go to penalties. But it didn't work."
Qadsia became the first club from their country to reach the tournament's final.
They will play the host team Tasisat Daryaei in today's final.
Thai Son Nam will play NAFT Al- Wasat Club, who lost 3-7 to the host team in the other semi-final match, in the third-place play-off match. — VNS