JOGJAKARTA (15 July 2018) – As expected, it was an explosive start to Group B of the AFF Futsal Club Championship as Thailand’s Bangkok BTS scored a last gasp 2-1 win over Sanatech Khanh Hoa of Vietnam while SKN FC and Melaka United battled to a 3-3 draw in the other group tie.
The Bangkok BTS-Sanatech match was always going to be close as although Bangkok BTS maybe making their debut, they have the prolific Muhammad Osamanmusa in their midst and that would make all the difference as Sanatech struggled to contain the talented youngster.
Seven minutes in, Bangkok BTS carved the lead when Nawin Rattawongswas ran in to score before a quick counter attack three minutes later, allowed Khong Dinh Hung to equalise.
It was an even battle soon after as both teams maintained their composure as they look for the winning touch and the full points.
And it finally came in the very last minute of play when Osamanmusa turned provider for Warut Wangsama-Aeo to score right at the death.
In the meantime, SKN FC began their campaign brightly with Fahrudin Haryono scoring off a quick counter in the 14th minute – much to the delight of the boisterous several hundred at the stand,.
With SKN having picked up five fouls, the ensuing second penalty gave Melaka’s Abu Haniffa Hasan a chance to draw level in the 18th minute but he totally muffed his attempt.
And while Abu Haniffa managed to score with a second penalty just a minute later to put the score at 1-1, he again missed his chance just before the end of the first half.
Melaka began stronger after the break when they scored two quick goals off Abu Haniffa and then Mohd Khairol Effendy Mohd Bahrin in the 26th minute.
But SKN never lost shape and with two imports Khalid El Hattach and Said Bouzambou, it made all the different in the closing stages as Melaka fell under increasing pressure to protect their fragile advantage.
In the 33rd a freekick resulted in a melee that allowed Jeni Firmansyah to stab home as two minutes to the end, Bouzambou scored from the second penalty spot to force both teams into sharing the points.
“It was a fabulous fightback from the team. It is good to share the points,” said SKN head coach Deny Handoyo.
“But there were glaring weaknesses in our game and that is something which we need to resolve before playing Bangkok BTS next.”
Melaka United (MALAYSIA) 3 SKN FC (INDONESIA) 3
Bangkok BTS (THAILAND) 2 Sanatech Khanh Hoa (VIETNAM) 1