Qantas Futsalroos to Commence World Cup Journey

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Futsalroos Team ShotThe Qantas Futsalroos will open their qualifying campaign for the 2008 FIFA Futsal World Cup on Sunday with Scott Gilligan’s side looking to maintain Australia’s record of having appeared in every FIFA Futsal World Cup since the inaugural version in 1989.

The Qantas Futsalroos have been drawn alongside number 2 ranked Asian side Japan, along with Turkmenistan and Chinese Taipei for the Asian Football Confederation’s Futsal Championships being held in Thailand.

The four semi finalists at the 16 nation tournament will represent Asia at October’s FIFA Futsal World Cup in Brazil.

Gilligan has chosen an experienced 14 man squad for the qualifying tournament which features seven veterans of the 2004 World Cup campaign.

Australia’s first Group B match is against Turkmenistan on Sunday, followed by Chinese Taipei on Monday and Japan on Tuesday 13 May.  The all-important quarter finals will see the top two teams in Group B meet the top two teams in Group A that features Thailand, Kyrgyzstan, Iraq and Indonesia.

Australia will complete their final preparations with matches against Kuwait tomorrow and against the Thailand U21s on Thursday, having demolished New Zealand 11-2 in Sydney on Saturday immediately prior to flying out to Bangkok.

The Qantas Futsalroos squad for the qualifying tournament is:

Tuan Cao (NSW), Fernando de Moreas (VIC), Trent Flanigan (ACT), Greg Giovenali (NSW), Luke Haydon (QLD), Simon Keith (NSW), Angelo Konstantinou (ACT), Dean Lockhart (NSW), Danny Ngaluafe (Qld), Gavin O’Brien (NSW), Peter Spathis (NSW), Adrian Vizzari (NSW), Lachlan Wright (NSW), Christopher Zeballos (NSW).

The four groups are:
Group A – Thailand, Kyrgyzstan, Iraq, Indonesia
Group B – Japan, Australia, Turkmenistan, Chinese Taipei
Group C – Uzbekistan, Lebanon, Malaysia, Korea Republic
Group D – IR Iran, Tajikistan, China PR, Kuwait

Australia’s matches are:
May 11 v Turkmenistan – 6.45pm (local time)
May 12 v Chinese Taipei – 12 noon (local time)
May 13 v Japan – 6.45pm (local time)

All matches in the tournament will be played at either the Nimibutr or Hua Mark stadiums in Bangkok, with the final to be held on May 18.

Source : Football NSW
Published : 5/5/2008

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