|Battle for the ball: Captain Nguyen Bao Quan (right) of Viet Nam vies for a ball against Tajikistan captain Mamedbabaev Mansur during their Group C match in Uzbekistan. Viet Nam will play Thailand in the final group round match today. — Photo hff.vn
HA NOI (VNS) — A draw against Thailand in the last Group C round match today will be enough for Viet Nam to remain on top of the table, as they advanced to the final eight in the Asian Football Confederation Futsal Championship in Uzbekistan.
Viet Nam is currently ahead of Thailand in goals, after both sides earned wins following their first two matches.
Coach Bruno Formoso's team put in a formidable display to overcome Tajikistan 8-1 on Saturday, as they guaranteed their passage to the quarter-finals with a game to spare. Earlier, they saw off Chinese Taipei 5-4 in the opening match.
This is Viet Nam's second year in a row achieving a playoff berth, after their first time in 2014 on home soil.
"Thailand is one of the favourites, not only for this group but for the whole tournament," Formoso was quoted as saying on the-afc.com.
"Both teams have good players and a good playing style. We like to have possession and attack, which makes for a wonderful game for the supporters.
"We will go out and try to win, like we always do. Thailand play a different style, compared to Chinese Taipei and Tajikistan, but we will prepare well. We need one perfect match, " added Formoso.
Victor Hermans of Thailand said his team's most important game was against Viet Nam, whose playing style was very fast, so the team needed to prepare well for that.
Thailand played Viet Nam at the AFF tournament in qualification for this championship, winning 6-0.
Today's other Group C tie sees Chinese Taipei take on Tajikistan in a match that will decide third and fourth place.
The Group D activities also are scheduled for today, with Japan challenging Australia in an encounter that will decide which team advances to the quarter-finals as the group table-toppers.
The other match features Qatar and Malaysia. The West Asian side's coach, Tiago De Sousa, has said he is looking for a more positive performance from his players.
Duong Anh Tung and Tran Van Vu each took a double in Viet Nam's 8-1 win over Tajikistan.
Tung needed only 23 seconds to push Viet Nam ahead at Universal Stadium.
Fayzali Sardorov equalised at the midway stage of the first half for the Central Asia side, but further strikes from Vu and captain Nguyen Bao Quan put the Southeast Asians 3-1 to the good at the interval.
Tung then headed in his second shortly after the restart before Le Quoc Nam, Tran Long Vu, Phung Trong Luan and (Van) Vu wrapped up the scoring.
"It is not an easy game, as our rivals are much bigger than we are. But we strictly follow our tactics and are well combined with each other, so we have really good results," said forward Long Vu.
"I'm really happy with the performance, because we dominated the game," said Formoso.
"It's difficult to play against a team like Tajikistan, because they defend well and play a direct style. But we scored the first goal, so they needed to open up more.
"We were comfortable in the first half and then played really well in the second. We followed our identity and pressed the ball, wanted possession and attacked."
"We scored more goals and became more confident as the game went on," Formoso added. —VNS