Group A: Chinese Taipei 1-3 Vietnam
Taipei: Vietnam beat Chinese Taipei 3-1 to clinch top spot in Group A and advance to the quarter-finals of the AFC Futsal Championship on Monday.
It was a remarkable achievement for Vietnam as they had lost 2-1 to Malaysia on Matchday One, before bouncing back to beat Bahrain 2-1.
Huang Po Chun gave the host nation the lead in the first half, but Vietnam replied in emphatic fashion with goals from Vu Duc Tung, Pham Duc Hoa and Nguyen Dac Huy to seal the win. Coupled with Bahrain’s 3-1 win over Malaysia, Chinese Taipei finished third and missed out on the knockout phase.
With their qualification hopes on the line, both sides entered the match looking for the win and played a high tempo, tight marking game.
The two were nearly identical in their approach to the game, but Vietnam just edged it in terms of possession.
After some scintillating action, Huang found the back of the net with a long range strike from a corner set play to give Chinese Taipei the lead just 40 seconds from the break.
The back-and-forth encounter continued in the second half but Vietnam’s eagerness and persistence would eventually pay off with Duc Tung’s twist and turn kick into the top right, courtesy of Phung Trong Luan’s pass at the half-hour mark, before Duc Hoa doubled their advantage when he latched on to a back pass and made no mistake from close range a minute later.
A goal down and four minutes left on the clock, Chinese Taipei opted for the power play and Vietnam were finally pressed into a defensive formation, but it backfired on the hosts with Dac Huy firing into an unguarded goalmouth.
Vietnam will face Group B runners-up Uzbekistan on Thursday in the quarter-finals.
Jose Adil Amarante: Chinese Taipei Head Coach
“I can’t say I’m satisfied with the result, but I’m really proud of my team. With the little time we had to prepare for this tournament, I couldn’t be more proud and happy to see their performance. In the second half you could see the gap in our performance. We were obligated to change our game plan after being one goal down, and had to press them but we were also running out of stamina. Vietnam are a team who are very experienced and they are used to this kind of situation and matches. With power play, chances happens for both sides. We had a great chance but unfortunately we couldn't score. I believe the team is still so young, and we can expect great things from Chinese Taipei.”
Miguel Rodrigo: Vietnam Head Coach
“I want to commend Chinese Taipei and coach Adil Amarante, well done. This experience is going to be good for them as they don’t even have a professional league. They have greatly improved since the 2017 Asian Indoor Games. In the first half, we played really tense and compact, and never found a way to break their defence. I couldn’t even recognise my team, and during the half-time break I told them it’s time to play and die for your country. And their attitude changed. Little by little, we found our rhythm and finally scored the first goal. After the first goal, we got better. Unfortunately our captain was injured. We will first take a rest, physically and mentally. We spent a lot of resources tonight. Now is time to keep the right mentality and play the right way. Uzbekistan are one of the best, favourites for sure but we are warriors, and will play with the Vietnamese spirit.”