Al Sadd (QAT) 11-3 NSW Thunder (AUS)


Al Sadd continued their perfect start to the inaugural AFC Futsal Club Championship with an emphatic 11-3 win over NSW Thunder at Pirouzi Stadium on Friday.

The Qataris dominated the first half to head into the break with a 6-1 lead and despite a spirited revival from their opponents in the second half, their ability told as they strengthened their place at the top of Group B.

Al Sadd opened the scoring after four minutes through Kamyab Zahir before extending their lead when Mohssein Amro’s clever through ball enabled Errahmouni Bilal to chip home.

NSW Thunder fell further behind in the ninth minute when Bilal’s fancy footwork drew keeper Peter Spathis into committing a foul on the edge of the area and Xavier Rodrigo hit the resultant free-kick into the roof of the net.

The Australians were still creating chances and should have pulled a goal back after 13 minutes but Adrian Vizzari shot over before his vicious strike was palmed away by Faraj Rashid.

But for all their attacking endeavour they were always in danger of being caught out in defence and so it proved with three minutes of the half remaining when Zahir rolled the ball into the empty net from Mohammed Al Kubaisi’s pass.

The Australians pulled one back soon after through Christopher Zeballos but Al Sadd responded immediately with strikes from Bilal and Al Kubaisi to make it 6-1 at the break.

NSW Thunder came out fighting after the restart and immediately scored when Mustafa Alpkaya swept home before he grabbed another in the 26th minute to give the Australians hope.

But their chances of a revival were ended when Zahir converted a direct free-kick with seven minutes remaining before Rodrigo’s audacious lob from his own half nestled in the back of NSW Thunder’s net.

The Australians clearly tired in the final few minutes and Al Sadd added further goals from Al Kubaisi, Ebrahim Al Najjar and Zahir to complete the rout.

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