AFC.com: games report from group stage final day

AFC Women
Courtesy: The AFC.com

Group C: Bahrain 2-3 Lebanon

Monday, May 7, 2018

Bangkok: Lebanon ended their maiden AFC Women’s Futsal Championship campaign on a high note, beating fellow West Asian debutants Bahrain 3-2 in an entertaining final Group C fixture on Monday.

A first half double from Rayane Rachid gave Maroun El Khoury’s side a dream opening, but a resurgent Bahrain came roaring back before Yara Hosry’s goal just after half-time settled the tie.

The win means Lebanon finished third in Group C, while Bahrain’s debut campaign ended with three defeats in as many matches.

Lebanon’s goal scorer against Japan on Matchday One, Rachid got her side off to a flying a start when she slotted a penalty past Nouf Al-Khalifa in the third minute, and added an excellent second when she punished the retreating Bahrain defence seven minutes later.

Marwa Zayed gave Bahrain a lifeline when she beat Nathaline Gilinguirian from close range in the 12th minute, but Elrashid Bukhari Ahmed’s side conceded another penalty seconds later, with Manar Yaqoob shown a straight red card for handball.

However, this time Nouf made a superb save to deny Rachid, and – after surviving two minutes at a numerical disadvantage – Bahrain produced their best attacking move of the tournament to make it 2-2 when Eman Rashed Isa scored after combining with Marwa and Alyaa Juma Al-Mudhahki.

Nouf made a crucial save to deny Marie Joe Wakim in the final moments of the first half, but she couldn’t keep out Hosry’s effort shortly after the break as Lebanon took a 3-2 lead.

Hosry spurned a golden chance to add a fourth two minutes later, and Reem Chalhoub also went close before Bahrain’s Deena forced Gilinguirian into an important low save with eight minutes remaining.

The win was almost sealed when Hosry hit the woodwork from close range with 40 seconds remaining, but it didn’t cost her side, and Lebanon celebrated their first points at the continental level.

They exit the tournament with their reputation enhanced, while Bahrain have the opportunity to build on the experiences gained against some of Asia’s strongest teams.

Maroun El Khoury: Lebanon Head Coach

“If someone watched that game he would say we could win 5 or 6-1, but we lack in experience. You need to practice to gain experience and that’s why the girls didn’t know how to end the game in the first 10 minutes, but I’m happy because we won the game and now we can build for the future. We now have the experience. We need more international games, and we’ll be back in 2020 with a good team.”

Elrashid Bukhari Ahmed: Bahrain Head Coach

“It was a great match and the players did well, especially because we don’t have a futsal league in our country and Lebanon do, and that showed in the end. We tried to implement some of the more attacking tactics in our training and we scored a great (second) goal which is an indication of what we can do in the future."

Courtesy: The AFC.com

Group C: Japan 6-4 China PR

Monday, May 7, 2018

Bangkok: Japan claimed top spot in Group C of the AFC Women's Futsal Championship 2018, beating China PR 6-4 at the Bangkok Arena on Monday.

Having won their previous two games to secure a spot in the quarter-finals, the two East Asian teams began their battle for the top spot in Group C brightly.

Although both sides were evenly matched, Japan took the lead in the fourth minute when Katsumata Riho beat Zhang Yue before releasing a strong shot which China goalkeeper Zhang Meini could not keep out.

Three minutes later, Egawa Ryo doubled their lead with a similar move on the left flank as the forward reacted quickly to slot home after the ball was deflected by Zhang.

In the 13th minute, Japan committed their fifth foul and were forced to take a step back in their offensive plays, and Hu Jie’s charges then piled on the pressure, looking for their first goal but the 2015 runners-up did well to repel China.

However, China’s continuous attempts bore fruit 35 seconds from the half-time whistle with Li Yingqing finding the back of the net from a corner set-piece to reduce their goal deficit going into the break.

China returned in the second half with determination in their eyes and their movements were in sync with one another, and found the equaliser in the 24th minute when Fan Yuqiu’s cross into the box met an unmarked Tian Jiao, who made no mistake from close range to beat Japanese goalkeeper Ayaka Yamamoto.

Eguchi Mika and Anna Amishiro were a joy to watch as their quick one-touch passes kept China on their toes, and in the 32nd minute, Mika made an incredible through pass to Amishiro that caught the Chinese backline off guard. Amishiro’s sliding shot returned the advantage to Japan.

Nakajima Shiori intercepted a lobbed pass in China's final third and quickly took a shot which Zhang could barely react to as Japan took a two-goal lead.

China had a glimmer of hope two minutes from time when they were awarded a penalty after a Japan defender handled the ball, and skipper Wang Ting duly converted the spot-kick, but it was short-lived as Misato Komura scored with a minute left on the clock.

Hua Jie’s side continued to fight with their power play strategy and it paid dividends just moments after the restart with Li Jingjing's simple tap in, but Japan would have the final say as Amashiro ended proceedings with the final goal of the game.

Japan will take on the Group D runners-up in the quarter-finals, while China will face the Group D winners in a simultaneous kick-off on Wednesday.

Kenichiro Kogure: Japan Coach

“This game was very important, because it decided whether we qualify in first place or second. China is a very good team and we only had eight days worth of preparation. We studied China, their good and bad points. China played a good game with good spirit. We’re getting better as we reach the quarter-finals."

Hu Jie:China PR Head Coach

“In the second half we played really well. We showed the strong ability of our team and I’m very proud of them, even though we lost the game. We still have a chance in this tournament. This is the only group stage and we will try to beat all the teams we face in the tournament from now. Losing is part of the game and we will move on and fight in the other matches.”

Courtesy: The AFC.com

Group D: IR Iran 9-2 Uzbekistan

Monday, May 7, 2018

Bangkok: Three goals in the first three minutes helped Islamic Republic of Iran confirm their status as Group D winners as they registered a 9-2 win over short-handed Uzbekistan at the AFC Women’s Futsal Championship 2018 on Monday.

The reigning champions will now face China PR in Wednesday’s quarter-finals, while Uzbekistan will regroup ahead of their meeting with Japan.

Playing against Shahrzad Mozafar’s team is never easy, but Uzbekistan’s task was made considerably more difficult by the absence of their two specialist goalkeepers, who were both shown red cards in their previous match against Turkmenistan.

Field player Iradahon Turdalieva stepped into the breach and conceded after just 19 seconds when Tanzilya Zarbieva’s attempted block flew into her own net.

Sara Shirbeigi’s deflected effort doubled the lead a minute later and when Fereshteh Karimi fired in a simply unstoppable free-kick, and it was 3-0 to Iran in the blink of an eye.

That signalled the start of Avaz Maksumov’s utilisation of Maluda Munaraova as a floating goalkeeper whenever Uzbekistan took possession of the ball. The ploy worked insofar as the Iranian goal rush temporarily ceased while the Uzbeks enjoyed far more possession.

Iran added a fourth goal when Fatemeh Etedadi pounced on a loose ball after Turdalieva spilled a shot in the 10th minute, before Uzbekistan created some reasonable scoring chances - and one excellent one for Lyudmila Karachik - late in the first half.

Uzbekistan were made to pay for their extensive use of power plays when Shirbeigi found the empty net after winning possession deep inside her own half four minutes into the second period, and Fatemeh Arzhangi made it 6-0 when she teamed up nicely with Arezoo Sadaghianizadeh a minute later.

Despite the heavy deficit, Uzbekistan showed glimpses of their quality and they were rewarded for a strong spell when Rushaniya Safina turned to drive home a 30th minute goal.

Safina had a great chance to score again moments later, but Iranian goalkeeper Farzaneh Tavasoli produced the crucial intervention when the 25-year-old opted to pass instead of shoot.

The six-goal lead was restored when Shirbeigi once again brilliantly fired into the empty net from long range to complete her hat-trick in the 32nd minute, then extended by Etedadi two minutes later after another loss of possession was punished.

While Iran’s goals were piling up, so too were their fouls. Their sixth for the half gave Maftuna Shoyimova the chance to score from the second penalty spot, which she took in the 38th minute.

Tavasoli saved Shoyimova’s repeat effort after another foul a minute later, before Fereshteh Khosravi’s back post tap in rounded out the scoring at 9-2 in the closing moments.

Shahrzad Mozafar: Islamic Republic of Iran Head Coach

“We did expect Uzbekistan would make the power play due to the situation with their two goalkeepers, so in our last training session we really worked on that, both in attack and defence. We were ready for that. I think it was a good strategy for Uzbekistan to reduce the score. If they had their goalkeepers maybe it would have been a totally different game."

Avaz Maksumov: Uzbekistan Head Coach

“Without our goalkeepers, we made the plan before the match to use the power play. Futsal is really improving in Europe and the world and many teams, like Kairat, Barcelona and sometimes Brazil, now use power plays because most teams know how to defend with four against four, but five against four makes things a little bit difficult, and it gave us a chance to score.”

Posted by Luca Ranocchiari --> luca.ranocchiari@futsalplanet.com


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