NSW Thunder coach Jamie Amendolia was in good spirits despite seeing his side fail to register a win for the third successive game and end their slim hopes of reaching the last four of the AFC Futsal Club Championship.
The Australians needed three points against Port Authority of Thailand to stay in the tournament but were downed 6-5 in a close-fought match at Pirouzi Stadium on Monday.
The defeat means NSW Thunder remain rooted to the foot of Group B and with only pride to play for in their final game against Pro’s Cafe on Tuesday.
“Today’s match was very frustrating for us,” said Amendolia (pictured).
“We dominated the game and dominated possession.
“It is respect to our team when you see another side come and play against you with a power play for the whole second half. They had no way to break us down and so had to use that method of attack.”
Amendolia had hoped prior to the match that influential forward Elliot Ragomo would be able to take his place in the starting line-up for first time since suffering an injury in their opening game against Chinese side Wuhan Dilong.
However, the Solomon Islands star was still not deemed fit enough and Amendolia admitted his absence in the last two games proved telling.
“He was still injured unfortunately,” he added. “It was a very bad injury he suffered in the first game and unfortunately he hasn’t been able to play since.
“In today’s game and against Wuhan Dilong the difference was only the odd goal and I think in some respects we lost a very important player who could have changed these games for us.”
For Port Authority the three points mean they still have a chance to claim a top-two finish in the group when they tackle Wuhan Dilong on Tuesday.
After surrendering a two-goal lead against NSW Thunder, the Thais often found themselves on the back foot before a switch to a more direct style of play in the second half paid dividends.
“This game was a very, very good game,” said coach Udom Taveesuk. “Their players were very good and it was more difficult than previous matches.
“It was hard for us to counter attack. We had to use power play in the second half and that is how we got chances to get goals.”