JAKARTA (19 June 2019) – Indonesia are the lone survivor in the AFC Under-20 Futsal Championship when they made the semifinals of the meet after beating ASEAN neighbor Vietnam 7-5 in the quarters last night.
Another ASEAN side Thailand were denied a place in the next round when they fell to Afghanistan 3-2 in the final eight battle.
In the match that was played at the Pour Sharifi Indoor Stadium in Tabriz, Indonesia were all over Vietnam but where they only managed to break the deadlock in the tenth minute when captain Ramadhan Zidani and Abdussalam exchanged quick passes for the former to strike from a tight angle.
Five minutes later and Indonesia went 2-0 up with Muhammad Syaifullah making good on Ramadhan hard work for them to head into the break comfortably in front.
Vietnam returned harder into the second half as Indonesia were forced to be defensive.
But off a quick counter in the 22nd minute, Indonesia grabbed their third goal of the game through the enterprising Syaifullah as they then went on to score their fourth goal of the game off Muhammad Sanjaya’s solo effort three minutes later.
In the 27th minute, Muh Agung Pandega gave Indonesia their fifth goal of the game after Abdussalam intercepted Vietnam’s power play.
The match then went up a gear as Vietnam scored their first goal of the game in the 26th minute before Indonesia replied through Pandega a minute later to put the score at 6-1.
In the 34th minute, the score stood at 7-2 after Nguyen Huynh Thanh’s saw a similar response from Pandega.
Vietnam then staged a late fightback in an effort to close the gap off goals from Huynh Thanh Huy (38th minute), Lam Toi (39th) and Mi Woen (40th) but it failed to spark a revival.
“It was a really good game. We played as we trained and we had expected some of Vietnam’s playing style. We had an issue with defence against power play, but I’m very happy with the result. In power play, the players must be in full concentration, but at the same time Vietnam have really good players, and I guess ours were tired and lost focus. This is the one thing we need to fix before the semi-final game,” said Indonesian head coach Sayan Karmadi afterwards.
Indonesia’s opponent in the semifinals is Afghanistan, who beat Thailand 3-2 in the quarter finals.
Afghanistan were 3-0 up off goals from Seyed Hossein Mousavi in the second minute, Javad Safari (14th minute) and and Farzad Mahmoodi (18th).
Thailand’s goals were scored by Thanawat Koedbangrachan in the 22nd minute and Chutinan Raksasap (39th).
“We have a strange sensation. On one hand, I am very proud of them. We neutralised the strong points of Afghanistan but we made three mistakes in the first half. In the second half, my team was marvelous, where we created many chances but never scored. I think we deserved more today. When you’re in the quarter-finals, the level of the teams is really high, and Afghanistan showed that they are strong. When we started with this team, we knew that this team doesn’t have big names compared to the previous squad. But we picked players with a big heart, who are fighters. In the next few months, I’m sure a few of these players will be called up to the national team,” said Thailand head coach Jose Mendez.