Group C: China PR 5-3 Myanmar
Taipei: China PR came from a goal down to secure a 5-3 win against Myanmar, finishing third in Group C of the AFC Futsal Championship 2018 on Tuesday.
Both sides were out of contention for the knockout phase after suffering defeats to Islamic Republic of Iran and Iraq, but were looking to end their campaign with a win.
Tournament debutants Myanmar applied heavy pressure from the start, and it didn’t take long for them to open the scoring with Nyein Min Soe’s close range strike, courtesy of Pyae Phyo Maung’s cross into the box.
China were undaunted and used Myanmar’s aggressiveness to their advantage, as they looked to hit on the counter.
In one such instance in the 11th minute, Shen Siming surged down the middle, dribbled past the Myanmar defence before finding the back of the net with a left-footed strike to level the scores.
Four minutes later, Zhang Yameng gave China the lead when he was left unguarded on the left and let loose a superb shot.
Thirty seconds from the half-time break, Kaung Chit Thu received a yellow card for a bad tackle on Xu Yang, and it proved to be costly as Gu Haito doubled China’s advantage with a simple tap in from the free-kick set piece.
Sergio Gargelli’s charges were dangerous in their set-plays, and less than a minute into the second half they were given another opportunity with Xu Yang sliding the ball in from close range.
The East Asians continued to press for another goal, but were forced into their half when Myanmar opted for the power play in the 28th minute.
After six minutes of probing, they failed to find a breakthrough and, instead, it was China who widened their lead with Zhang shooting into an empty goalmouth.
Pyae, however, completed his hat-trick with goals in the 36th and 38th minutes, but it was too little too late as China held firm.
Sergio Gargelli: China PR Head Coach
“I believe performed well in all three matches. Our team got better and better with every game, especially against Islamic Republic of Iran. They showed the right attitude, and that’s something a team need to have to be world class. With a little bit more experience and luck, we could have achieved a better result. Our target for the next championship is to get one of the spots for the FIFA Futsal World Cup. China is showing more commitment to the development of futsal, which means more effort and budget. We are two or three steps behind the top teams in the world, but we can close the gap really quickly if we continue at this pace.”
Htay Myint: Myanmar Head Coach
“It was a disappointing game today, because we made so many mistakes and missed chances throughout. But I think the team showed a better performance during the power play, and that’s why we scored two more goals. This has been a good experience for us. Coming in to the tournament for the first time, it’s been great to come here to earn this experience. Next, we will reform our team, looking for new players. We still have the ASEAN Football Federation Futsal Championship, and we are aiming to be the champions.”