Shah Alam: Shenzhen Nanling of China edged Thai Son Nam of Vietnam in a thrilling semi-final with the 3-2 extra time win to book a berth in the AFC Futsal Club Championship 2013 finals to be held in Nagoya in August.
In the Zone 2 qualifiers semi-final held at the Panasonic Sports Complex of Shah Alam, Shenzhen dominated the match but poor finishing made it difficult to the Chinese champions who are participating in the competition for the very first time.
The Chinese found the frame of the goal twice in the first half and thrice in the second half before Kuang Xuanpu was clear on the goal after a shot from Danilo Moura deflected off Thai Son Nam goalkeeper Ngo Dih Thuan and made it 1-0 in the 30th minute.
The match came alive when Le Quoc Nam grabbed the equalizer a minute after Kuang’s goal taking his chance from outside the penalty area.
There were more twists to come as the Chinese were awarded with a penalty on the same minute after Le Quoc’s goal. Iranian futsal legend Vahid Shamsaee took the penalty and goalie Thuan forced a world-class save to keep the Vietnamese alive in the match.
Thai Son Nam took the shock lead through Phung Trong Luan with less than five minutes remaining but Xuanpu rescued the Chinese again by scoring an equalizer and forcing the match into extra-time.
Shamsaee did not feature in the first half of the added extra time but once coach Wu Zhuoxi introduced him in the second half he amended his early mistake by notching up the vital winner. Shenzhen added one more goal with seconds remaining.
“This is a historical moment for Chinese futsal,” an emotional former Chinese futsal captain and Shenzhen coach Wu told www.the-afc.com.
“We know a lot of physicality was involved in the match and tomorrow (on Tuesday) we need to play Chonburi in the final but at the moment we just want to enjoy our achievement of being able to play in the finals.
“Sometime in football/futsal you need luck and today we hit the frame five times otherwise we would have kill the match much earlier. From my experience of the national team, we knew it will not be an easy game against the Vietnamese who have a tendency of playing much better against Chinese opponents.
His counterpart Sergio Gargelli also highlighted the nature of the game as being cruel.
“This is the part of the game, when they were on the top of their game they struggled to score but when everything was under control they scored the winner,” he said.
“Tomorrow is a vital match for our team against Dural Warriors and we are desperate to put behind the disappointment and try to beat them.
“We have beaten them in the group stages but every match is different. I am not worried about the physical toil of my team but the worry is to get back the boys mentally and approach the third-place playoff with winning mentality,” he said.
|Thai Son Nam||Shenzhen Nanling|
|Le Quoc Nam 31'||Kuang Xuanpu 29' 38'|
|Phung Trong Luan 36'||Vahid Shamsaee 48'|
|Danilo Moura 50'|
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