Group B: Nafit Al Wasat 4-3 Thai Son Nam
Yogyakarta: Nafit Al Wasat came from a goal down and survived a late Thai Son Nam revival to seal a 4-3 win in Group B of the AFC Futsal Club Championship Indonesia 2018 at the Gor Amongrogo on Friday.
After an opening day win, Thai Son Nam knew a second win would secure them a spot in the Knockout Stage, while Nafit - who only had one point to their name - needed a win to give them a good chance of progressing.
Thai Son Nam's early aggression paid dividends just two minutes into the game when Ton That Phi’s shot forced Nafit goalkeeper Yahya Abdulnoor Raheem into making a save, but Roberto Tobe Belope then latched onto the rebound to hit home from close range.
Nafit, however, were not ruffled by the early goal and continued to play patiently when in possession, using Thai Son Nam’s heavy pressure to their advantage. By the 15th minute, however, Miguel Rodrigo’s side had to resort to a more defensive strategy after committing five fouls that allowed the Iraqi side to slowly encroach into opposition territory.
Going into the second half, Haitham Abbas Bawei’s charges turned it up a notch and matched Thai Son Nam’s aggression, and the equaliser was imminent. In the 25th minute, Farhad Tavakoli was positioned perfectly to do a slick flick-up and released an unstoppable volley from near the second penalty spot to level the scores.
Things turned in Nafit’s favour when Waleed Khalid found the back of the net with his second shot after his initial strike rebounded off the left post to make it 2-1 in the 31st minute.
Less than two minutes later, Thai Son Nam ‘keeper Ho Van Y was shown the yellow card after tackling Hussein Abd Ali Mohammed in the box, and Ghodrat Bahadori stepped up to take the spot kick. He made no mistake with his left-footed strike to claim a two-goal lead.
Thai Son Nam opted for power play and their five-men attacking force managed to reduced their deficit with That Phi sliding the ball in from close range in the 36th minute, but it backfired shortly after when Tavakoli intercepted a pass and launched the ball into an unguarded goalmouth.
Nguyen Minh Tri etched his name on the scoresheet with his 38th minute effort but it proved to be too little as Nafit claimed a comeback win.
Nafit will play their final Group B tie against Korea Republic’s Jeonju MAG FC, while Thai Son Nam take on Al Dhafra of the United Arab Emirates on Sunday.
Nafit Al Wasat Head Coach Haitham Abbas Bawei:
"I am very happy because it was a big match against a hard team today. I have already set my mind on the next match against the Korean team (Jeonju MAG FC). In every game, we have a new plan and tactics because every team is different. And we will have new tactics against them."
Thai Son Nam Head Coach Miguel Rodrigo:
"We didn't deserve this result, we didn't deserve to lose this game. In the first half we played so well, especially in the first 10 minutes. We had a lot of opportunities, but after five fouls, we couldn't keep pressing. In the second half, it was equal. They had some chances and punished us. After it was 2-1, we lost a bit of control, and maybe it was one of the main reasons (for the loss). We tried to come back into the game with power play and we almost did it. Now, we have to forget about this result and focus on the next game. It's going to be the final, not just for us but for Al Dhafra as well.