The AFC.com games report: day 2

AFC Women
Courtesy: The AFC.com

Group C: China PR 5-2 Bahrain

Thursday, May 3, 2018

Bangkok: China PR found themselves a goal behind after less than one minute, but recovered to register a 5-2 win over Bahrain in their opening Group C match in the AFC Women’s Futsal Championship 2018.

Five Chinese players found the back of the net in a well deserved victory, but – with captain Yasmeen Fayez Tobellah among their shining lights – Bahrain were far from disgraced in their first ever match at the tournament.

The West Asians made a dream start on debut, taking a surprise lead within the first minute, when Hessa latched onto a long pass to stab the ball past goalkeeper Zhang Yue on the half volley.

China hit back two minutes later, with Li Jingjing poking home an equaliser from less than a yard.

In an entertaining clash of styles, China retained the bulk of possession and looked to pass their way through the Bahraini defence, while Elrashid Bukhari Ahmed’s side created the majority of their chances with quick counter-attacks.

Nouf Al Khalifa made the first of several outstanding saves to deny Shen Nan, but the Bahrain goalkeeper was eventually beaten when Tian Jiao stroked the ball in from just within the second penalty spot in the 11th minute.

Zhan Huimin punished some sluggish defending to make it 3-1 in the 15th minute, but Bahrain responded immediately, with Manar Ebrahim Yaqoob slamming the ball home to keep her side within touching distance.

Li Yingqing restored the two-goal buffer by driving a loose ball into Nouf’s top corner, before Shen completed a slick passing move in similar fashion with two minutes on the clock, and China took a healthy lead to half-time.

There was a relative lack of scoring in the early stages of the second half as China rattled the woodwork twice and were denied on many more occasions by Nouf, who made save after save to keep the game alive as a contest.

Li Jingjing finally had the ball in the net with three minutes remaining, but the goal was correctly chalked off for a high foot, and the match ended with China unable to add to their 5-2 half-time lead.

Their next step on the road to potential Asian glory will come against Lebanon, while Bahrain face the daunting prospect of a match against futsal powerhouse and 2015 runners-up Japan.

Hu Jie: China PR Head Coach

“It was a good match and we made a lot of chances to score and scored five goals. We are able to win today’s match and we are with happy with today’s match. I think overall it’s a very good match.”

Elrashid Bukhari Ahmed: Bahrain Head Coach

“I am very pleased with the performance. The girls even surprised themselves and surprised a few others, especially since it’s the first match for us in this tournament. So it’s a great effort from us, we showed great heart.”

Courtesy: The AFC.com

Group D: Turkmenistan 0-14 IR Iran

Thursday, May 3, 2018

Bangkok: Islamic Republic of Iran began their AFC Women's Futsal Championship 2018 title defence with an emphatic 14-0 win over Turkmenistan on Thursday.

As expected from the title holders, Iran showed their prowess from the first blow of the whistle with Fatemeh Etedadi finding the back of the net just seven seconds into the game, courtesy of Fareshteh Karimi's pass into the box.

After conceding the early goal, Turkmenistan tried to play a more compact game, tightening their defences as Iran had free reign of the ball.

Kamil Mingazov's side showed moments of brilliance, pushing the Asian champions back into their half, but Iran eventually doubled their lead when Turkmenistan goalkeeper Malika Eminova blocked Fareshteh Khosravi's shot but the ball fell right in front of Fahimeh Zarei for a simple finish, before scoring her second of the night moments after the restart.

Karimi etched her name on the scoresheet in the eighth minute, before Etedadi earned her second 12 minutes into the game from a set-piece, shooting into the top left goal.

After four fouls, Bangladesh were more hesitant in their movement, which Iran exploited and Fatemah Papi made it 6-0 in the 16th minute, while Karimi increased her personal tally to two goals within the same minute.

Iran showed that they weren't just deadly in their set-pieces, as every player had the ability to score from distance and Seyedehnastaran Moghimidarz unleashed a crackling strike two minutes from the half-time whistle to give Iran an eight-goal lead going into the break.

Karimi completed her hat-trick three minutes into the restart, and Arezoo Sadaghianizadeh pushed the scoreline to 10 when she intercepted a pass forward and her left-footed strike gave no time for Eminova to react.

The tournament debutants, however, continued working hard in defence but Sara Shirbeigi scored again for Iran in the 32nd minute, after a quick one-two between her and Papi in the final third.

Etedadi scored in the 35th and 38th minutes, before Zarei ended proceedings in the final minute of the game to power Iran to a 14-0 win.

Shahrzad Mozafar: Islamic Republic of Iran Head Coach

“I am totally satisfied with the players’ performance. We wouldn’t have guessed that result before that but we believed in ourselves and we knew that we would win this game. I’m happy about the score and I’m totally satisfied with this as a first step.”

Kamil Mingazov: Turkmenistan Head Coach

“Iran are the defending champions, and it’s really hard to play against them. Their quality is much higher than us and our team is quite young and has only been around for one or two years. We didn’t have international friendly games before this so it is quite hard, but hopefully in the next game we will improve.”

Courtesy: The AFC.com

Group C: Japan 5-1 Lebanon

Thursday, May 3, 2018

Bangkok: Japan issued a reminder of their standing as one of Asia’s strongest outfits, overcoming a resolute Lebanon to secure a 5-1 win in their opening match at the AFC Women’s Futsal Championship 2018.

The Asian Indoor Games silver medallists raced to an early 3-0 lead, but Lebanon – in their first competitive match since 2012 – showed they belong at Asia’s highest level and competed well with one of the continent’s leaders for the majority of the match.

Japan, who now sit on top of Group C, enjoyed an even spread of goal scorers, with five players - including their Ashgabat 2017 top scorer Ryo Egawa finding the net, while Rayane Rachid became the first Lebanese player to score at the tournament.

Things appeared ominous for Lebanon when Mika Eguchi punished some sloppy defending to make it 1-0 inside two minutes, but they defended in a committed and organised fashion from then on.

Japan unlocked the Lebanese resistance when slick passing helped Masami Kato double the lead after eight minutes, and Anna Amishiro had the honour of finishing a sumptuous three-way passing move to make it 3-0 five minutes later.

While Kogure’s charges were showing signs of the quality he exhibited in his own storied playing career, Lebanon seemed to grow more comfortable as the match progressed.

The West Asians then produced their first AFC Women’s Futsal Championship goal, when the skilful Rachid beat goalkeeper Ayaka Yamamoto high at her near post after being supplied by Nancy Tchaylian five minutes before half time.

Tchaylian’s shot forced Yamamoto into a save shortly thereafter, before Japan responded with a series of efforts of their own and the teams went into the break with the score at 3-1.

Lebanon kept Japan at bay quite comfortably immediately after half-time, but Ryo Egawa gave Japan breathing space when she scrambled home a close range effort to make it 4-1 in the 25th minute.

Four became five when Riho Katsumata’s relatively tame effort angled effort snuck in at the near post in the 31st minute, signalling the end of Lebanon’s challenge for the points.

Hinako Chida almost added a sixth when she forced Nathaline Gilinguirian into a save after a superb slaloming run, but no further goals were to follow, with Japan now focusing on their meeting with another West Asian opponent in Bahrain on Saturday.

Meanwhile, Lebanon will meet China PR in the knowledge that they have the ability to compete at this level.

Kenichiro Kogure: Japan Head Coach

“I want to congratulate the players for their performance tonight. They did what we trained to do. Lebanon has a good coach and I think they showed a good level of futsal in their performance tonight. We’ll look to improve game by game.”

Maroun El Khoury: Lebanon Head Coach

“I’m satisfied for my team’s performance. We failed in fitness. Japan are very well prepared and very fast. They have ten players at the same level and they play classic futsal. We failed to play our futsal because we were tired, but I am very satisfied with the performance of the players. We need three of four games like this so we can advance to another level.”

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


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