Lebanon, Iraq seal 2019 spots
Kuala Lumpur: Lebanon and Iraq secured wins to top their groups in their AFC U-20 Futsal Championship Thailand 2019 West Zone Qualifiers on Saturday.
Divided into two groups, the six teams in the West Zone are competing for three available spots to the Finals. Winners of the respective groups are assured spots in the 2019 Finals, while the teams in second place will move on to a play-off, where the the winners will advance to the Finals.
Group A: Lebanon 8-2 Saudi Arabia
Al Fujairah City: Lebanon pipped Saudi Arabia to the top spot after cruising to a 8-2 victory at the Fujairah Stadium in the United Arab Emirates on Saturday.
Lebanon, who defeated Kuwait 7-2 on Thursday, raced to a 3-0 lead at half-time, with a brace from Jamal Selwan in the fourth and 16th minutes while Majd Hamouch found the back of the net in the 15th.
Mubarak Ali M Alshahrani’s side responded in the second half with an Abdullah Jamal Aldossari strike two minutes after the restart.
Lebanon, the 2017 quarter-finalists, stayed in control of the match and added three more goals through Mohamad Elkaiss and Steve Koukezian - both in the 24th minute while Hussein Hamieh scored the sixth goal four minutes later.
Saudi Arabia doubled their tally in the 33rd minute through Alwaleed Mohammed Alharbi but they conceded again through Hassan Shehab in the 36th minute while Georgio El Khoury put Lebanon 8-2 up two minutes from the final whistle.
Saudi Arabia, who finished second, can still earn entry into the Finals if they beat Group B runners-up Bahrain in the West Zone Play-off on Sunday.
Group B: Iraq 7-0 UAE
Al Fujairah City: Iraq strolled past UAE 7-0 to finish top of Group B at the Fujairah Stadium.
Iraq asserted themselves early in the match and opened the scoring in the second minute through Ali Abdullah Lami and added three more goals through strikes from Sadeq Basim Ali (4th), Hussein Zamil Al-ghanim (6th) and Hayder Raad Al-dayyeni (9th) to go 4-0 up at half-time.
Ali Talib Muhammed’s side continued their dominance over UAE in the second half and furthered their advantage through goals from Hussein Abdulhakeem Amer (21st, 22nd) and Basheer Mohammed Al-darraji in the 27th minute for a 7-0 victory.
Second-placed UAE will have a chance to earn a spot when they face Saudi Arabia in the West Zone play-off on Sunday.