Courtesy: The AFC.comPreview: Matchday Three - Group BSaturday, May 5, 2018
Bangkok: Malaysia appeared to have one foot in the semi finals when they took an early lead against Chinese Taipei on Matchday Two, but a spate of missed opportunities cost the Southeast Asians dearly as they fell to a 4-2 defeat.MALAYSIA v VIETNAM
Addie Azwan’s side now has it all to play for against unbeaten regional rivals Vietnam, and the former men’s national team player is under no illusions as to the game’s significance.
“Tomorrow’s game against Vietnam is important,” he said.
“We know Vietnam’s game well. Last year we drew (1-1) at the SEA Games, but seeing their two games here, I see that they are different.
“They have different preparations, different players and a different focus. We will play for the win.”
While Vietnam were held by the Malaysians in Kuala Lumpur last August, a repeat of the same result would be enough to ensure they top Group B on seven points.
Vietnam head coach Truong Quoc Tuan said that he was keen to dodge a quarter-final clash with neighbours and potential Group A winners Thailand by avoiding defeat Malaysia.
“I don’t think any team wants to play against the host team here. We want to avoid Thailand in the quarter-finals if we can,” he said.
“Malaysia’s team is familiar to us. We played against them at the SEA Games, but also many times before that and we hope to prepare well and beat them.”
After finishing on the bottom of their group with zero points from three matches at the inaugural AFC Women’s Futsal Championship in 2015, Vietnam have impressed in Bangkok, racking up eight goals without conceding in their first two appearances.
Truong said his team is benefitting from the solid understanding between players from the Thai Son Nam club, which provides the national team with roughly half of its Thailand 2018 squad, including Matchday Two standout Trinh Nguyen Thanh Hang.
A confident Trinh believes her side will beat Malaysia if they perform to their best.
“We have very good solidarity in our team now, with logical tactics and good preparation we can reach the semi-finals,” she said.
“I believe that we can win against Malaysia. We know their team very well and we hope we have the tactical solutions to win. I know we can.
“In my experience, we have never lost when playing against them and we hope this will continue.”CHINESE TAIPEI v BANGLADESH
Chang Yao-ming’s Chinese Taipei side stormed back into Knockout Stage calculations with an excellent come from behind victory against Malaysia, with the match turning on with an 18th minute penalty kick, won and converted by Chen Ya-chun.
It was revealed by Chang after the match that he fancied Chen to take the crucial kick so that she could atone for her earlier miss against Vietnam.
The 24-year-old, who went on to provide assists for two further goals, told the-AFC.com she was always confident.
“I knew that I would score, and I knew, even when we were behind early in the match, that we could win the match,” she said.
With a Matchday Three clash against rock-bottom Bangladesh to come, It now appears likely that Chinese Taipei will reach the quarter-finals at their first attempt, keeping alive Chang’s pre-tournament aim of a place in the final four.
Bangladesh has endured a torrid introduction to top level futsal, conceding 14 goals in their first two matches, but with the majority of his players in their mid teens, head coach Golam Robbani Choton said his team is looking to the future.
“I think our girls have a lot of talent, and if they had been training in futsal for as long as Vietnam and Malaysia, for four or five years, I think Bangladesh could be in the same position with time,” he said.
The match between Chinese Taipei and Bangladesh will be held simultaneously with Vietnam’s match against Malaysia on Sunday, with the top two sides in Group B advancing to Wednesday’s quarter-finals.
Courtesy: The AFC.comPreview: Matchday Three - Group ASaturday, May 5, 2018
Bangkok: Group A reaches it’s climax on Sunday, as hosts Thailand look to get back to winning ways against Hong Kong, while in-form Indonesia faces Macau.THAILAND v HONG KONG
After dishing out an ominous 15-0 hammering to Macau on opening night, Thailand had looked like title contenders, but a Matchday Two draw against newcomers Indonesia means the hosts could be now eliminated with an unlikely defeat to Hong Kong.
Thai mentor Udom Taveesuk made no secret of his dissatisfaction with the 1-1 stalemate against the disciplined Indonesians.
“We had many chances to score but we couldn’t take them. That was our mistake. In the next game we must keep our focus and take our chances,” he said.
“We prepared for many, many weeks but the players could not follow my tactics. For the next match we’ll work more on communication to make sure the players understand each other.”
Despite the setback, Thailand will still qualify for the Knockout Stage with a draw against Hong Kong, and will likely top the group if they return to the winners list, and the forthright Udom reiterated his belief in his players.
“I’m still confident about the next game and confident about being champions in this tournament,” said the tactician.
“I hope our performance in the next game will be perfect and everything will be good in the next round.”
Hong Kong overcome a nervy opening to eventually overwhelm Macau and record a 7-0 win; one which revived their quarter-final hopes after their 2-0 defeat to Indonesia on Wednesday.
Despite Hong Kong suffering a 6-1 loss to the Thais at the 2013 Asian Indoor Games, head coach Ho Wing Kam believes her side are in with a chance.
“We have played Thailand before, and I don’t believe it is 100 percent that we will lose to them this time. We’ll give it our best,” she said.INDONESIA v MACAU
Debutants Indonesia caused the tournament’s first major surprise when they earned a fighting draw against the highly-fancied Thailand on Matchday Two, and Kensuke Takahashi’s side now find themselves 40 minutes away from a quarter-final berth in their first AFC Women’s Futsal Championship.
A win against Macau – who have conceded 22 goals in two heavy defeats thus far – will ensure a place in the Knockout Stage and potentially see Indonesia top Group A at their first attempt.
Speaking after the 1-1 draw against Thailand – in which Febriana gave the Indonesians a second-half lead – Takahashi heaped praise on his charges.
“I think the players defended very well and ran until the end of the game,” he said.
“I’d really like to thank the players because they ran for the team and they kept the spirit. Against a champion team – we are very happy with this result."
Macau’s tournament is highly likely to come to an end following Sunday’s match, as Chiang Ka Chon’s side gains valuable lessons from their exposure to top level continental futsal.
Posted by Luca Ranocchiari