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Tashkent: Coach Bruno Formoso is looking for the “perfect match” as Vietnam prepare to face off against Southeast Asian rivals Thailand on Monday in an encounter that will decide who advances to the quarter-finals of the AFC Futsal Championship as Group C table-toppers.

Spaniard Formoso’s team put in a formidable display to overcome Tajikistan 8-1 on Matchday Two as they guaranteed their passage to the last eight with a game to spare after seeing off Chinese Taipei 5-4 in their opening fixture.

Vietnam sit ahead of Thailand on goal difference alone after the two-time finalists also recorded back-to-back wins in their first two games of the tournament as they secured their progression to the next round.

And with local bragging rights also at stake, the stage is set for a highly-charged Matchday Three clash at Uzbekistan Stadium.

“Thailand are one of the favourites, not only for this group but for the whole tournament,” said Formoso, whose side have now reached the last eight in successive continental campaigns after achieving the feat for the first time in 2014 on home soil.

“Both teams have good players and a good playing style; we like to have possession and attack, which makes for a wonderful game for the supporters.

“We will go out and try to win like we always do. Thailand play a different style to Chinese Taipei and Tajikistan, but we will prepare well. We need one perfect match.”

Victor Hermans’ Thailand, meanwhile, began their continental campaign with a last-minute 5-4 victory over Tajikistan before turning the style on in a resounding 7-2 win over Chinese Taipei on Saturday.

“The game against Vietnam is the most important game in the group, as I thought it would be before the tournament started. We already know their playing style is very fast so we will prepare well for that,” said Dutchman Hermans.

“We played them at the AFF tournament in qualification for this competition and it was 0-0 until the final 10 minutes, but in the end we won 6-0. So as I always say, the result will be decided near the end of the game.”

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Monday’s other Group C tie sees Chinese Taipei take on Tajikistan in a match that will decide third and fourth place.

Chinese Taipei put in a positive performance in their opening group game against Vietnam, narrowly going down 5-4, before their elimination was sealed after the heavy defeat to Thailand.

“I need to organise my defence well and then we’ll try to counter-attack,” said coach Chen Yung-sheng.

“I’m very confident that we can take our chances when presented, but sometimes we concede too many goals.”

Husein Shodiev’s Tajikistan also impressed in their 5-4 reversal to Thailand on Matchday One only to see any hopes of last eight qualification dashed in their comprehensive 8-1 defeat to Vietnam.

“My players are very young so this tournament has been a great experience for them and I think we will put on a good performance in the last game,” said Shodiev.

“I will make some changes and give players that haven’t played so much some more playing time.”

Photo: AFC

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