| BANGKOK (March 28, 2007) – Defending champion Thailand will take on Malaysia while newcomers Australia has a date with Vietnam in the semi-finals of the Asean Futsal Championship 2007 at the Hua Mak Indoor Stadium in two days.
In the final group matches today, Australia completed their fixtures in Group A with a 5-1 whitewash of the Philippines while Thailand ran riot over Brunei with 13-1 thrashing in Group B.
But the matches of the day belonged to the decisive ties in either group between Vietnam and Myanmar as well as Malaysia and Indonesia – with all four teams having a fighting chance to play in the last four.
Vietnam was the first to book their place to join Thailand and Australia in the semi-finals when they took advantage of an early goal through Le Tuan Tu in the fourth minute to overcome Myanmar 6-4 (pic).
Things was always going to be hard for Myanmar where apart from having to cope with the loss of keeper Phyo Min Aung – suspended for picking up a red card in their last match against Thailand – the further loss of Tun Lin Aung in the 4th minute seems only to make things worst.
“It was good that we managed to keep things in perspective and qualify for the semi-finals,” said Vietnam head coach Nguyen Van Long afterwards.
“It was always going to be close as the standard between the two teams are almost the same.”
In the meantime, Malaysia completed the fixtures for the semi-finals in the last match of the evening with an enthralling 2-2 draw against Indonesia.
Needing only a draw to make into the next round, the Malaysians took the lead with just seconds remaining in the first half when Ahmad Rizal Abdul Rahim slotted home.
Indonesia fought back with two goals from Socrates Matulessy (28) and Jaelani Ladjanibi (36) before Ahmad Rizal emerged the hero for the Malaysian side with the equaliser two minutes to the end.
“It was a very difficult match having to juggle players following the three suspensions,” said Malaysia head coach P. Balakrsihnan.
“But the players prevailed despite all the obstacles and now we will play Thailand.”
FINAL GROUP STANDING: 1. Australia 9pts; 2. Malaysia 4pts; Indonesia 4pts; 4. Philippines 0pt
FINAL GROUP STANDING: 1. Thailand 9pts; 2. Vietnam 6pts; 3. Myanmar 3pts; 4. Brunei 0pt
SEMI-FINALS FIXTURES (March, 30, 2007 at the Hua Mak Indoor Stadium)
4pm: Australia vs Vietnam
6pm: Thailand vs Malaysia