Group C: FC EREM take runners-up spot
Yogyakarta: FC EREM finished their AFC Futsal Club Championship Indonesia 2018 as Group C runners-up, booking them a meeting with Mes Sungun Varzaghan in the quarter-finals after they beat Vic Vipers FC 4-2 on Monday.
Prior to the match, Erem were tied with Qatar’s Al Sailiya on three points, and came unto the tie knowing they needed a win to progress to the quarter-finals.
Erem forced the issue right from the get-go and were rewarded just two minutes into the game when Yazid Kamaruzuan made a questionable pass back which was intercepted by an oncoming Dilshat Kadyrov, who slid the ball in to open the scoring.
In the seventh minute, a slick pass from Adam Stuart Cooper found Shayan Alinejad in front of the box, and Alinejad then outmaneuvered Erem ‘keeper Nurtilek Zhailoobaev but his shot bounced off the left post.
Just moments later, Maskat Alimov let loose a crackling right-footed strike to double the lead.
Vic Vipers performed well despite the Erem pressure and showed signs of life with their counter-attacks but their runs hardly made it into the final third at the Gor UNY.
In the 23rd minute, Iuldashbai Salimbaev driblled past Vic Vipers’ Cooper and beat Christos Apostolakis to make it 3-0.
In a quick counter-attack in the 26th minute, Alinejad made his way past two Erem players and found the back of the net to reduce their deficit, but Pavel Taku restored their three-goal lead just a minute later with a simple tap, courtesy of Abdrasul Uuluu Manas’ pass.
Miltiadis Sakkos’ charges had not won a single game in their campaign, and the eagerness to end on a high showed in their efforts, and at the half-hour mark, Kamaruzuan scored from a kick in set-piece.
Undaunted by the goal, Erem continued their pursuit to further their advantage but were forced back into a more defensive form when Vic Vipers opted for power play.
Vic Vipers’ strategy almost backfired and it was eventually to no avail as Erem held strong to seal the win and a quarter-final meeting with Group D winners Mes Sungun.
FC EREM Head Coach Daniaar Abdraimov: " Our initial target was qualification from the group. We will play against Mes Sungun and the game against them will be like an exam for us. It will be a difficult match. Most importantly, our minimum target, we qualified. Congratulations to my team, to its management who provided us with the opportunity to play in the tournament. Thank you Indonesia!"
Vic Vipers FC Head Coach Miltiadis Sakkos: " Our team did very well. In Australia, these boys have jobs and we don't have opportunity to train together everyday like these clubs do. I think we have shown that if we had the chance or opportunity to prepare with a professional approach, I do believe we can be as good as these clubs. We love the AFC, this is the fourth time we are here and for us, it's always a pleasure. The tournament always runs very well, and Indonesia did very well. They are too be congratulated, the stadium looks fantastic."