Suphawut: Our quarter-final with IR Iran is big for Asian Futsal
Taipei: Thailand star believes the ASEAN side are set for an exciting last eight clash with the defending champions on Thursday.
A hat-trick for forward Suphawut Thueanklang on Tuesday not only helped Thailand to an 8-1 win over Kyrgyz Republic and secured a place in the AFC Futsal Championship quarter-finals, but also helped the Southeast Asians rebound from a deeply disappointing defeat to Lebanon on Matchday Two.
“We lost our confidence in the last game but today we recovered it,” insisted the 2013 AFC Futsal Player of the Year.
“It was a really good game, not only for me but the whole team. We played very well and we scored a lot of goals.”
However, with Lebanon securing top spot in Group D courtesy of their 2-1 win over Jordan in Tuesday’s other tie, Thailand’s second place finish will see them lock horns with defending champions Islamic Republic of Iran.
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The Iranians, 11 times continental champions, boast a perfect record in the competition so far, and have not lost in the AFC Futsal Championship since the 2014 Final.
When the two giants of Asian futsal clash, it will be the first time the pair have faced off in the AFC tournament since the 2012 semi-final, when Thailand were victorious after a 5-4 extra-time win.
“It’s a big game not only for this tournament but also for Asian futsal,” added Suphawut.
“We’ve played IR Iran not just one or twice before, but many times.
“They are always fun and exciting games, just as I’m sure this will be.”