The Qantas Socceroos have bowed out of the AFC Futsal Championship and a subsequent place at the FIFA Futsal World Cup later this year, after they were beaten by Thailand 5-2 in their quarter final clash in Bangkok.
Fernando de Moraes scored a double for Australia, but it wasn’t enough against the hosts, who got off to a quickfire start and backed by a vocal crowd, never looked like surrendering their lead.
With captain Lachlan Wright and Chris Zeballos suspended, Australia was somewhat behind the eight-ball to start with, but the two goals by Eakapong Suratsawang in the opening seven minutes was a killer for Scott Gilligan’s team.
De Moraes pulled a goal in the 14th minute, but three minutes later Thailand regained their two goal advantage.
Australia with the help of an extra man, following the dismissal of a Thai player started to gain some control and scored a fine goal to pull the score back to 3-2.
But with five minutes remaining, Thailand’s captain Panuwat Janta eased Thai fans nerves with a goal from close range and for the second game running, Gilligan took off his goalkeeper for an extra attacker in search of goals.
The goals never came and Panomkorn walked the ball into the net for the Thais fifth goal after he dispossessed the last defender.
A disappointed Gilligan lamented the loss of Wright and Zeballos, given they had provided the team with valuable goals in the group matches.
“I think the turning point was the game before when we had two suspended players,” he said.
“Both were the two leading goal scorers in the team for this tournament and it was pretty obvious that that was going to affect us.
“Obviously not going to the World Cup is very disappointing and that’s the issue.”
Only the top four teams from the AFC Futsal Championship progressed to the Futsal World Cup later this in Brazil, which will not feature an Australian team for the first time in the competitions history.
Source : Football Australia
Published : 15/5/2008