BANGKOK – Coach Scott Gilligan was happy to see Australia reach their first target in the 2008 AFC Futsal Championships with a 6-0 victory over Chinese Taipei but still underlined their determination to scale even greater heights.Lachlan Wright netted a hat-trick at Nimibutr Satdium as Australia, who had keeper Peter Spathis sent-off for a professional foul, virtually booked their place in the quarter-finals with a comfortable triumph.
Gilligan’s stated aim before the competition was to win the first two games in a bid to eventually qualify for the semi-finals and gain a place in the FIFA Futsal World Cup taking place in Brazil later in the year.
And after an opening success against Turkmenistan, it seems Australia will now face a showdown with Japan for top spot in Group B providing Sergio Saipo’s team can replicate the green and gold’s success.
“Mission accomplished – so far,” said Gilligan.
“I knew initially they’d be a tough side to break down. We had to make sure we kept going at them.
“We started quite well and then obviously with our keeper getting sent off we had that two-minute spell were some of the better players were on the pitch and they got a little bit more tired and we took a little bit more
time after that to get the first goal.
“I think the important thing for us was to get that first goal and once we got it, we kicked on from there, particularly in the second half, once we got the fourth one they dropped a little.”
After the 8-2 drubbing against Japan, it has been a tough tournament so far for Chinese Taipei and coach Chen Kuei-Jen recognised his side had been outclassed.
“Australia were as strong as Japan and maybe our team did not have enough ability and fitness,” he said.
“Australia are a difficult team for us because we don’t have as many players that are as strong or tall and their speed and their power was a problem for us.
“We are also tired and some of the player are getting hurt as it’s the second game.”
Source : www.the-AFC.com
Published : 12/5/2008