Shah Alam: Vietnamese side Thai Son Nam grabbed the last qualifying slot for the finals of the AFC Futsal Club Championship 2013 after recording a come-from-behind 6-3 win over Australian Dural Warriors on Tuesday’s third-place playoff match played at the Panasonic Sports Complex.
The Vietnamese who had an easy game against the same opponents in the group stages with a 6-2 win, had to come from behind in an action-packed encounter in which the referees had to show three red cards; two to the Australians and one to the Vietnamese.
Despite a flattering scoreline at the end, the match was evenly contested with the Australians taking the initial charges. They went a goal ahead as early as in the first minute of the match after Tobias Seeto capitalized on a poor clearance from Thai Son Nam goalie Ngo Dinh Thuan.
Luu Quynh Toan made it 1-1 in the 9th minute in a silky Thai Son Nam counter-attack but they went behind again after a clever finish by Jarrod Basger ended at the back of the net in the 11th minute.
The Vietnamese found their rhythm back in the second half and the Spanish import Alberto Riquer implied all his experiences to grab an equalizer from the tight angle in the 21st minute.
Thai Son Nam went ahead for the first time in the match through Nguyen Bao Quan, when Dural Warriors were playing with less men on the pitch following the red card to Zach Caruana. After taking the lead, the Vietnamese were in total control in the match and netted three more goals.
“We started the match timidly and were under pressure in the beginning but what pleased me today was that we stuck to the Vietnamese brand of futsal and if Vietnam teams play their futsal, they are hard to beat,” Thai Son Nam’s Italian coach Sergio Gargelli, who gambled a partly injured Spanish star Riquer for the second match in running, told www.the-afc.com.
“The key reason for our good day in the office today was our reliance on speed and movement which made it difficult for the Australians to get the space they wanted.
“To be very honest, our goal was definitely to qualify for the finals so it’s target achieved. Anything beyond that would have been disaster financially for us so I am glad that we will be continuing playing in the finals.
“The team would be more or less same but we may need to find a replacement for Inaba (Kotaro) as he is joining his Japanese futsal club after this competition and it looks like he won’t be available for the finals,” he added.
Tobias Seeto 1′
Jarrod Basger 11′, 38′
Thai Son Nam
Luu Quynh Toan 8′, 36′
Alberto Riquer Anton 21′, 39′
Nguyen Bao Quan 26′
Phung Trong Luan 28′