Wright hat-trick has Australia on track for quarters

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A Lachlan Wright hat-trick has ensured the Qantas Futsalroos a berth in the quarter finals of the AFC Futsal Championships, after a 6-0 win over Chinese Taipei in Bangkok, Thailand.

Backing up after a late finish last night and being the first team on court today, Australia’s task was made even more difficult after the send off of goalkeeper Peter Spathis in just the 6th minute.

But despite the setback, which saw Australia down to four players for two minutes, the Futsalroos dominated proceedings with Wrights hat-trick the highlight.

Adrian Vizzari, Chris Zeballos and an own goal were the other goalscorers in the win.

Australia now face group favourites in their final group match tomorrow, for what is likely to decide top spot of the group.

Australia started strongly with Simon Keith rattling the woodwork from distance but when Chinese Taipei’s Chang Fu-hsaing raced clear and was brought down Spathis, the Aussie keeper was shown a red card. Experienced keeper Gavin O’Brien was thrown into the match, but Australia suddenly found themselves down a man for two minutes.

Having weathered that setback, Australia soon found themselves ahead when Fernando de Moraes’ cross was stabbed into the net by a Chinese Taipei defender.

Wright then grabbed his first goal of the night prior to half time, when he fired home after terrific build up work. He grabbed his second soon after the break and that was followed quickly by a first goal for Vizzari.

Wright then completed his hat-trick, drilling a superb shot into the top corner and the comprehensive win was completed when Zeballos made a solo run down the left and hit an unstoppable shot into the top corner.

After the game, coach Scott Gilligan was happy that his team had achieved its first aim of reaching the quarter finals, although the semi finals and a place at the 2008 FIFA Futsal World Cup was now definitely in his sights.

“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 where 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.”

Source : Football Australia
Published : 12/5/2008

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