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Việt Nam’s Asian championship journey ends in quarters

Update: February, 09/2018 - 09:00
Nguyễn Văn Toàn of Việt Nam (centre) tries to escape from Uzbekistan players during their AFC Futsal Championship’s quarter-final match in Chinese Taipei yesterday. — VNS Photo Quang Thắng
Viet Nam News

Futsal

HÀ NỘI — Wasted chances were the main reasons that Việt Nam failed to repeat their record of entering semi-finals of the Asian Football Confederation Futsal Championship in Chinese Taipei.

Their journey ended after losing 1-3 to Uzbekistan in the quarter-finals at the Xinzhuang Stadium.

Despite facing a strong rival, who were runners-up at the 2016 tournament, the Vietnamese side, who played without their key player Phạm Đức Hoà who received two yellow cards, succeeded in confusing them with consecutive attacks from the first whistle.

Their domination made the Uzbeks withdraw their ground and defend in nearly half the time of the first half.

According to statistics, the Vietnamese created at least five threatening chances but failed to score a goal.

Uzbekistan balanced the situation step by step and had their opener at the ninth minute by Davron Choriev. He launched a long-range cross to Mashrab Adilov who easily beat goalkeeper Ngô Đình Thuận to give Uzbekistan the lead.

Việt Nam was more in control in the second half, pushing Uzbekistan into a defensive position, but despite their numerous shots on target, custodian Rustam Umarov was unbeatable.

In the 29th minute, Choriev doubled Uzbekistan’s lead when Thuận failed to clear his area and Choriev neatly chipped the ball into the net.

Việt Nam bounced back almost immediately with Phùng Trọng Luân’s superb strike to make it 2-1 one minute later.

With five minutes left, Việt Nam carried out power-play tactics but it did not work the way they wanted.

Ilhomjon Hamroev neatly fired into an empty goalmouth to seal the win at the 39th mark.

Speaking with reporters at the post-match briefing, coach Miguel Rodrigo of Việt Nam said the clash between two sides was similar to the game at the Asian Indoor Games last year when Việt Nam also lost 0-2 but this time his team was better.

“Unfortunately, every big mistake we did, they punished us. There was too much ‘innocence’ in front of the goal. I am satisfied with my team, but we repeated almost the same mistakes,” said Rodrigo on the-afc.com.

“I can’t blame my players because it’s a young team, with seven of them playing in the knockout phase for the first time. There were so many moments, where we were three-on-one against the keeper, but we didn’t finish.”

“The most difficult part of the game is finishing, but you have very little time to make a decision. That part is something that is very hard to train, but finishing is associated with talent. I can motivate them emotionally to finish, but in the end it’s about talent. We need more experience. We are building a new group of young players, but we need more time,” he said.

On the other side, coach Bakhodir Akhmedov of Uzbekistan said he was satisfied with the result. Việt Nam’s performance was good; they made it difficult for his team. But while his players took their chances, Việt Nam did not.

“I can say that Việt Nam is one of the upcoming developing teams with a strong futsal team. It’s going to be a really tough game against Iran, and we will show our best performance against them, and try to reach the final,” said Akhmedov.

Uzbekistan will face defending champions Iran who trounced Thailand 9-1 in an earlier encounter in the semi-finals today. It will be a repeat of the 2016 tournament’s final when Iran won to take the trophy.

In another quarter-final match yesterday, Japan defeated Bahrain 2-0. They will next play Iraq who will make their first-ever appearance in the tournament’s last four round after a 9-8 penalty shootout win over Lebanon. — VNS

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