Preview: All eyes on Mes Sungun Varzaghan in Group D
Yogyakarta: With just two days to go before the AFC Futsal Club Championship kicks off in Yogyakarta, the-AFC.com concludes its previews with a look at the four teams in Group D.
Mes Sungun Varzaghan (IRN)
Mes Sungun Varzaghan from Islamic Republic of Iran pipped powerhouses Tasisat Daryaei and Giti Pasand Isfahan for a spot in the 2018 AFC Futsal Club Championship.
The 2017–18 Iranian Futsal Super League champions, who have Hossein Tayyebi in their ranks, will be aiming to continue IR Iran’s proud record in the Championship.
Tayyebi stole the show in Chinese Taipei in February when he emerged top scorer with 14 goals as IR Iran cruised to their 12th AFC Futsal Championship title.
Mes Sungun Varzaghan also have several attacking options in Moslem Rostamiha and Mohammad Hossein Derakhshani.
Iranian clubs have a habit of making the last four since 2010 and have produced three different champions - Fooland Mahan (2010), Giti Pasand Isfahan (2012) and Tasisat Daryaei (2015).
The 2016 edition was the only time an Iranian club failed to reach the last four when Nagoya Oceans edged Tasisat Daryaei 3-2 on penalties following a 2-2 draw.
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Bank of Beirut (LIB)
Best finish: Quarter-finals 2015, 2017
Bank of Beirut will be making their fourth appearance in the Championship after clinching their fourth Lebanon Futsal League title.
Dejan Dedovic’s men claimed their second league title in a row following a perfect season which saw Bank of Beirut claim maximum points.
The Lebanese club will hope to benefit from their league performance and improve their best achievement of reaching the quarter-finals in 2015 and 2017.
In Bangkok 2015, they progressed to the quarter-finals before losing narrowly to finalists Naft Al-Wasat on penalties while in Ho Chi Minh last year, Dedovic’s men were edged 2-0 by Giti Pasand Isfahan.
AGMK FC (UZB)
Uzbekistan will be represented by newly minted league champions AGMK FC, who will be making their first appearance in the club continental competition.
For the past two editions, FC Almalyk represented the Central Asians. Prior to that, Lokomotiv Tashkent were at the forefront in 2014 and 2015.
Uzbekistan performed admirably at the 2018 AFC Futsal Championship in Chinese Taipei to finish third and it will be interesting to see if AGMK FC can replicate their national team’s achievement here in Yogyakarta.
FC Sipar (TJK)
FC Sipar, the 2017–18 Tajikistan Futsal League runners-up, come into the competition for the first time.
Tajikistan first made their appearance in the championship last year with Disi Invest who were drawn in a tough group with Nafit Al-Wasat, Al Rayyan and Vamos FC.C
Disi Invest ended their campaign without a point and FC Sipar will be aiming for much more in Yogyakarta.
Photo: AFC, Tajikistan Football Federation, IRNA, sungunsport.ir