The AFC.com: quarter finals games report

AFC Women
Courtesy: The AFC.com

IR Iran overcome China PR to advance

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Bangkok: Reigning champions Islamic Republic of Iran passed their first real test of the tournament to advance to the AFC Women’s Futsal Championship 2018 final four with a 4-2 win over China PR in a high-quality quarter-final on Wednesday.

Goals to Tian Jiao and Zhang Yue had the East Asians 2-1 ahead on the verge of half-time, but a Fereshteh Karimi-led Iran took the lead in the first minute of the second half and closed the game out with a late Sara Shirbeigi goal.

Shahrzad Mozafar’s charges will now meet Vietnam in tomorrow’s semi-finals, while China’s promising tournament ends at the quarter-final stage.

Iran had piled up 23 goals in their previous two matches, and in the opening moments they picked up from where they had left off in the group stage as Karimi and Shierbegi both went close.

Karimi gave the reigning champions an early lead when she fired home from a free-kick in the second minute, but China took just a minute to respond, as Tian Jiao met Zeng Qingqing’s inch perfect cross to fire home a wonderful header.

A number of saves from Zhang Meini kept the scores level before Zhang Yue beat a defender, played a one-two with Tian and fired the ball into the roof of the net to put China 2-1 ahead in the ninth minute.

Seyedehnastaran Moghimidarzi forced Zhang Meini into her best save yet in the 13th minute, but the Chinese shot-stopper’s miscalculation three minutes later allowed a scuffed Nasimeh Gholami shot to find it’s way into the net from close range.

Both Karimi, who saw a shot cleared off the goal line by Liu Duan, and Ma Yiming, who missed the target, had good chances to give their side the half-time lead, but the sides remained locked at 2-2.

But, as in the first half, Iran began the second period with a flourish and regained the lead when Karimi passed up a chance to shoot in order to expertly assist Fatemeh Etedadi, who slammed home an emphatic seventh goal of the tournament.

Karimi continued to cause problems for Hu Jie’s side and only Zhang’s two superb 26th minute saves kept the one-goal margin intact, while China struggled to reproduce the attacking threat they posed in the early stages of the match.

Iran extended their lead to two goals for the first time when Fahimeh Zarei teed up Shirbeigi to make it 4-2 with four minutes remaining and - despite the best efforts of China – seal a crucial victory.

Shahrzad Mozafar: Islamic Republic of Iran Head Coach

“Actually, It was a very hard match, but we knew it would be like this. We did a lot of work in our training session and I think we were ready for everything, but the second half performance was much better than the first half. Overall I am satisfied that we beat China, and I have to say congratulations to China for their big improvement since last year. As I said yesterday, this is the new power in Asia.”

Hu Jie: China PR Head Coach

“Today we played a really good game and we showed our team spirit. We showed how this team can work and scored two beautiful goals, but at the same time we can see some limitations and disadvantage defensively, and that’s what we need to improve. I’d like to offer my appreciation to my players for this year of preparation for this tournament. They gave up their university studies and work to came and prepare for this tournament."

Courtesy: The AFC.com

Japan beat Uzbekistan to reach semi-finals

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Bangkok: Japan advanced to the AFC Women’s Futsal Championship 2018 semi-finals after beating Uzbekistan 5-1 on Wednesday.

In a lively contest at the Huamark Indoor Stadium, both sides began brightly as they were evenly matched in terms of possession and attempts on goal.

Uzbekistan welcomed back Laylo Tilovova as their custodian after she missed the group stage match against Islamic Republic of Iran, and she quickly proved her worth by pulling off several superb saves against Anna Amishiro and Ryo Egawa in the opening minutes.

Nilufar Kudratova came closest to opening the scoring for the Central Asians in the 14th minute when she received a pass to set up a one-on-one against Japanese goalkeeper Ayaka Yamamoto just outside the box, who reacted swiftly to block the shot with her torso.

Japan’s persistence paid off from a set-piece a minute later, when Mio Fujita’s kick-in found Amishiro unmarked, who dribbled past the Uzbek defence before hitting home with a right foot shot to break the deadlock.

Kogure Kenichiro’s side returned in the second half looking to double their lead, and less than a minute after the break, Egawa found the back of the net with a crackling shot into the top left corner, courtesy of Amishiro’s pass.

Junko Takemura demonstrated her exceptional individual skill when she dashed forward alone into enemy territory, dribbling past two defenders before unleashing a strike to make it 3-0 in the 24th minute.

Uzbekistan head coach Avaz Maksumov immediately replied with power play, aiming to use their additional attacking power to reduce their deficit but were punished for a missed pass into the box which Shiori Nakajima converted into an unguarded goalmouth in the 28th minute.

Four minutes later, disaster struck Uzbekistan once again after a misplay in the Japanese final third, and Saki Yotsui moved on a counter-attack to slot home the East Asian’s side fifth goal of the game.

Safina Rushaniya scored a consolation in the 36th minute with her shot from the second penalty mark, but it was too little too late as Japan sealed an emphatic win and will face Thailand in tomorrow's semi-finals.

Kenichiro Kogure: Japan Head Coach

“We struggled against the performance of their goalkeeper, but we had many chances so I believe the players did well and showed improvement in the second half. The next game is a very important one. We don’t know yet who our opponent will be but we’ll be prepared.

Avaz Maksumov: Uzbekistan Head Coach

“Japan have a lot of experience, and I think they are well prepared for this tournament. They had a very good, moving futsal system where all players know their role and their futsal was very good, but out team our team lack experience. All the players play football and we only had one week of preparation for the tournament, which isn’t too much. From May until December this will be the women’s national football team.”

Courtesy: The AFC.com

Thailand cruise past Chinese Taipei

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Bangkok: Thailand set-up a semi-final clash with Japan after registering a 6-1 win over Chinese Taipei in the AFC Women's Futsal Championship 2018 quarter-finals on Wednesday.

Both teams started strongly, trading blows early in the first half as they cancelled out each other.

Thailand coach Udom Taveesuk remained confident before the match despite missing tournament leading scorer Sasicha Phothiwong, who was out with a knee injury.

Taveesuk, who had seen his side find the back of the net 24 times in their group matches, went ahead after 17 minutes.

Darika Peanpailun broke the deadlock with a header from close range following a pinpoint cross from Jiraprapa Tupsuri.

Chinese Taipei however found the equaliser two minutes later when team captain Chen Pin-Hui caught Thailand goalkeeper Li I-Chieh napping following a cheeky lob from her own half.

Thailand doubled their advantage two minutes after the restart when Sasicha Phothiwong fired a low drive after turning to lose her marker above the penalty box to make it 2-1.

A minute later, Tupsuri made it 3-1 for Thailand. The Thai captain doubled her tally for the night following Jiraprapa Nimrattanasing’s assist from a free-kick.

Chinese Taipei fought back with counter attacks of their own but their powerplay backfired when they lost possession deep in the Thailand half as Sawitree Mamyalee made it 4-1 in the 33rd minute when she picked up a loose ball to score into an open net.

A minute later Mamyalee doubled her tally from a counter attack when she fired her low drive into an unguarded goalmouth.

Mamyalee picked up her hat-trick with a minute left to play when her half volley from the second penalty spot beat Li to give them a 6-1 victory.

Udom Taveesuk: Thailand Head Coach

“We reached our target, today, and I’d like to thank my players for today’s effort. Next up it’s a big challenge (against Japan) so we’ll try more. We beat Japan 3-1 last time in the Asian Indoor Games (gold medal match), so we must try first to control the game, but we have already prepared for other tactics.”

Chang Yao-ming: Chinese Taipei Head Coach

“In the first half we defended well, but in the second half their number 14 (Sasicha Phothiwong) did very well and the game went away from us. We wanted to use the power play but our passing wasn’t good and we lost the game. I was satisfied with the performance of our players in the first half. This competition will be a very good lesson to us going into the future."

Courtesy: The AFC.com

Vietnam edge Indonesia for semi-final berth

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Bangkok: Vietnam will meet holders Islamic Republic of Iran in the AFC Women’s Futsal Championship 2018 semi-finals after they eliminated Indonesia with a 2-1 quarter-final win on Wednesday.

Nguyen Thi Hue scored the precious late goal which decided the contest and gave Vietnam their fourth consecutive win in a tournament where they failed to win a match three years ago.

It was a heartbreaking end for Indonesia, who trailed at half-time before equalising early in the second half through Febriana, as their maiden continental campaign finished with a narrow defeat.

In a battle of two undefeated sides, Indonesia looked to continue their dream AFC Women’s Futsal Championship debut by reaching the semi-finals at their first attempt, while Vietnam were hopeful of repeating last year’s 2-1 SEA Games win against their regional rivals.

There was little to separate the teams early on, and the goalkeepers at either end were tested without having to perform any heroics as the two sides probed for an early opening.

A four-minute period produced reasonably good chances for Indonesia’s Fitri, Novita and Rani respectively, but all three players failed to test Ngo Nguyen Thuy Linh in goal.

Vietnam lit up the court with a lovely move in the 13th minute, as Vo Thi Thuy Trinh’s wonderful back heel opened up the Indonesian defence and allowed Bien Thi Hang to set up Bui Thi Trang, who scooped the ball in for 1-0.

For the first time in the tournament, Kensuke Takahashi’s side was behind, and Novita came close to equalising a minute later but failed to steer in a low cross after slipping through to the back post unnoticed.

Do Thi Nguyen – Vietnam’s leading goal scorer in the competition with four – forced an important save from Citra with just over a minute remaining, but neither side could add to Bien’s strike before half-time.

A purposeful Indonesia emerged after the break, and they found an equaliser within five minutes thanks to an exceptional finish from the outside of Febriana’s right foot; the 24-year-old’s third goal of a productive tournament.

In a tournament where the goals have rarely stopped flowing, this was a match in which clear cut chances were at a premium.

Le Thi Thuy Linh blazed her shot over the crossbar from 10 metres with a 10 minutes remaining and - when two Citra saves and the woodwork denied Truong them in quick succession five minutes later – Vietnam began to look the team most likely, and so it proved.

With just over three minutes remaining a swift Vietnamese counter-attack found Nguyen Thi Hue, who made no mistake from just inside the penalty area to put her side within touching distance of the final four.

Indonesia pressed on for the equaliser, but aside from Dinar failing to reach a low cross, never really looked like finding one as Vietnam completed a historic win and celebrated their place in the final four.

Truong Quoc Tran: Vietnam Head Coach

“Before the game I studied our opponents very thoroughly and I knew that their first set (of four players) were very strong so we tried tor reduce their power. I congratulate my players because they played very bravely and they played with tactical discipline."

Kensuke Takahashi: Indonesia coach

“It was a very tight game. We’re very sad about this result. I told the players about Vietnam’s style of play and their counter-attack. I think the players were not quite able to apply the instructions regarding the counter-attack. Overall, we drew Thailand and we aimed for a further target but unfortunately we lost. I believe overall it has been a positive performance. This is our first AFC competition and I think it’s a good experience for the players."

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


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