Group D: Bank of Beirut FC 4-1 AGMK FC
Yogyakarta: Bank of Beirut from Lebanon enjoyed an opening day win in Group D of the AFC Futsal Club Championship Indonesia 2018 after beating Uzbekistan’s AGMK FC 4-1 at the Gor UNY on Thursday.
The opening minutes of the match saw frenetic action, as both sides displayed energetic and assertive fronts. However, the pressure was on Dejan Dedovic’s side as they looked to continue their unbeaten streak against an Uzbek club.
In a highly intense match, Ahmad Kheir El Dine finally broke the deadlock in the ninth minute with a beautiful right-footed volley to give Beirut the lead, courtesy of Karim Abou Zeid’s corner set-piece lob.
Just a minute later, Beirut were given a free-kick near the penalty spot after AGMK goalkeeper Rustam Umarov and Shukhrat Tojiboev scuffled in the box with Mahdi Javid for possession.
Exquisite touches between Patrick Vieira Luz and Javid perplexed the AGMK wall, and Javid made no mistake from five metres to double their lead.
After conceding two goals in a span of two minutes, Aleksandr Petrov’s charges upped their tempo, taking the game to Beirut as they looked to capitalise on mistakes but the Lebanese club showed class in their defence to take their lead into the break.
AGMK returned from the break more spirited but despite their best efforts, Beirut showed their prowess through set-pieces once again with Javid scoring his second after controlling the ball with his chest and delivering an unstoppable volley in the 23rd minute.
Tojiboev ensured AGMK found a goal of their own when he dribbled past two Beirut players before finding the back of the net in the 27th minute.
At the half-hour mark, Jovlon Anorov came on the pitch as AGMK’s power player looking to reduce their deficit but the plan almost backfired when he lost possession to Ali Tneich, who then fired a long shot towards an empty goalmouth only to be cleared by Konstantin Sviridov.
AGMK’s five-man attacking force diminished Beirut’s field of play, but the two-time quarter-finalists were more than prepared against such tactics and recovered their three-goal lead with Javid completing his hat-trick in the final minute of the game to secure a convincing win.
Beirut will face Tajikistan’s FC Sipar next, while AGMK take on Islamic Republic of Iran powerhouse Mes Sungun Varzaghan on Saturday.
AGMK FC Head Coach Aleksandr Petrov:
"It was actually a really tough game. Both sides had many chances, but tactically they won the game. Hopefully we will be ready for the next game. We are going to try something for the next game, because we still have two more games ahead of us."
Bank of Beirut Head Coach Dejan Dedovic:
"It's important that we won our first game, that's the most important thing. I'm satisfied with the result, as it as to our favour but we have to play much better and we will play much better in the next game. For the next game, I will give more chances to players who didn't get to play much today. I wouldn't say our next game is easier, but it won't be as tough as today."