The Qantas Futsalroos have kicked off their bid for a place at the 2008 FIFA Futsal World Cup, with a come from behind 3-1 win against Turkmenistan at the 200 AFC Futsal Championship in Bangkok, Thailand.After going early in the match, Australia took control of the Group B encounter at Nimibutr Stadium, Gregory Giovenali, Christopher Zeballos and Adrian Vizzari each scoring a goal.
The result leaves them level with group favourites Japan at the top, who comprehensively beat Chinese Taipei 8-2 in the other match.
Turkmenistan capitalised on a sluggish start by the Aussies with Ahmed Allabrediyev beating keeper Peter Spathis with a powerful shot from a tight angle near the touchline.
That woke up the Australian players and after Lachlan Wright and Fernando de Moraes tested the Turkmenistan keeper Tashliyey, the equaliser eventually came.
Giovenali had forced another good save from Tashliyev, but from the resulting corner, Giovenali made no mistake, drilling the ball low into the goal.
Australia kept the momentum in its favour after the break, when Zeballos was denied but soon after he had the Futsalroos in front when he tapped home a rebound after Tashliyey had denied another strike at goal.
Vizzari then made sure of victory late in the game when he chipped the keeper.
Australia coach Scott Gilligan was relieved after the game, especially with the fact they had finally got off to a winning start.
“This is our third time at the Asian Championships and the first game we’ve always lost,” Gilligan said. “We lost to Turkmenistan last year – so it was very pleasing to see the boys show their character to come back and win the game,” he said.
“They stepped it up. I think we can go a bit further but I was very pleased to get the three points because the first game is always the stressful game.”
Australia will next play Chinese Taipei at 3pm (AEST) today, with a win virtually ensuring a place in the quarter finals.
The semi finalists will all earn a place at the 2008 FIFA Futsal World Cup, being held in Brazil in October.
Source : Football Australia
Published : 12/5/2008