Group A: Heartbreak for Dalian Yuan Dynasty FC
Yogyakarta: China PR’s Dalian Yuan Dynasty came back from a goal down to beat Victoria University College of Myanmar 3-2 but missed out on the Knockout Stage of the AFC Futsal Club Championship Indonesia 2018 after finishing behind Group B runners-up Vamos FC on goal difference on Sunday.
Victoria came into the match determined to end their campaign with a win after suffering two consecutive losses, while Dalian knew they needed a victory with goals aplenty to finish second in the group.
Nyein Min Soe and Aung Zin Oo were Victoria’s dynamic duo, with both showing superb coordination, and in the fourth minute, the pair surged down the court in a counter-attack that led to Aung opening the scoring with a right-footed strike.
Undeterred by conceding, Dalian went in pursuit of the equaliser and were rewarded in the 10th minute when Wang Hongwei, who was positioned on the left flank, released a crackling left-footed shot from a difficult angle which found its way into the back of the net to level the tie.
Htay Myint’s charges made the most attempts on goal in the remaining first half, but Dalian custodian Feng Xiaoyu denied every effort.
With news of Vamos FC trailing Nagoya Oceans in the first half of the group’s other match filtering through, Dalian set out into the second half with heavy man-to-man pressing and even introduced Zhao Liang as their power player.
Despite having an additional attacking member which kept Victoria in a defensive formation, the strategy failed to produce results and even came close to backfiring multiple times.
However, after 13 minutes of power play, Wang’s effort rocketed off the left post and Li Zhiheng latched onto the rebound and found the back of the net from close range.
Li earned his brace two minutes from time, courtesy of Wang’s pinpoint pass into the box.
In the closing minutes, Victoria were on the attacking foot and brought in their own power player and reduced the deficit through Nyein with just seven seconds on the clock.
Nagoya Oceans finished as Group A winners followed by Vamos on four points, while Dalian and Victoria ended their campaign third and fourth respectively.
Dalian Yuan Dynasty FC Head Coach Li Jianlei:
"We tried our best, and gave everything to win the game. We won but it wasn't enough. It's a pity we had a player suspended and two other who were injured. We could have done more, done better."
Victoria University College FC Head Coach Htay Myint:
"We tried our best, but unfortunately we didn't score most of our attempts. This is our first tournament at a Continental level and we have garnered a lot of experiences. We have a lot of young and talented players, and these experiences will drive future development."