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Third place cheer for Thai Son Nam

Sunday, July 30, 2017
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Ho Chi Minh City: Thai Son Nam clinched third place in the AFC Futsal Club Championship Vietnam 2017 after cruising to an emphatic 6-1 victory over Qatar’s Al Rayyan on Sunday. 

It may not have been the final, but the deafening atmosphere at the Phu Thọ Indoor Stadium scaled to new heights of euphoria, fuelled by the fans expectations for a fitting swansong from their team.

Thai Son Nam's fans were rewarded for their support as the club clinched third place in the AFC Futsal Club Championship Vietnam 2017 on Sunday . 

The home side stormed out of the blocks with Lukaian Baptista and Pham Duc Hoa exemplifying coach Miguel Rodrigo’s emphasis on a high-pressing game, carving out early attempts but Ali Ibrahim was at his acrobatic best - which had become synonymous with the Al Rayyan goalkeeper as the competition progressed.

Despite dominating the early proceedings, it was the away side who got in front when Mohammad Taheri outwitted Nyugen Van Huy with a looping header to find a towering Hazem Samy, who was left with an easy tap-in.

Al Rayyan almost doubled their lead in the 11th minute when Diego Costa showed his class to turn past Hossein Tayibbidgoli before clipping his effort just over a well beaten Van Huy.  

It was Thai Son Nam’s turn to come close next, with Baptista lofting a sublime cross to find Tayibbidgoli but the Iranian directed his left-footed effort just wide.

The home side came close again, Nguyen Manh Dung teeing-off to release Nguyen Minh Tri down the left, but the latter’s effort rolled across the goalmouth screaming for a vital touch.

Three minutes before the break, Al Rayyan came close again after Diego skipped past Baptista with only the keeper to beat, but Van Huy rediscovered the breathtaking form that helped his side’s successful passage in the competition, with a brave save.

Soon, the home fans erupted in celebration after an excellent display of strength and ingenuity by Thai Huy to nutmeg a through pass to Van Vu, who made no mistake from close range.

Inspired by their late first half goal, Thai Son Nam got off to a roaring start after the break, and came close to taking the lead within seconds after Tayebibidgoli drove forward with purpose to find Van Vu but Ibrahim stood firm yet again to deny the home side with a lunging block.

Thai Son Nam continued to exert authority, Van Vu in the thick of the action once again, this time smashing his right-footed effort against Ibrahim's right post.

Al Rayyan then came close to reclaiming the lead, when Lucas Oliveira showed eagle-eyed precision to find Diego but the Brazilian saw his effort rock the crossbar.

The home side then restored order, all thanks to a blistering right-legged drive by Phung Trong Luan who connected with precision to Le Quoc Nam’s kick-in 11 minutes into the second-half.  

Two minutes later, it was game, set and match for the home side, Tayebibidgoli picking his spot for his seventh goal of the Championship.

It was only a matter of minutes before the match witnessed the power play as Al Rayyan attempted to reduce the deficit, but the decision proved costly as Thai Huy added Thai Son Nam’s fourth in the 37th minute.

A minute later, Baptista scored the fifth, holding off Flavio Barreto Arantes before unleashing a right-footed shot from the right flank.

There was still time for Tayebibidgoli to double his tally in the closing seconds, feigning Ibrahim to his left before slotting past his right to cap-off a resounding victory for the home side.

Judging by the rousing reception from the home fans as the Thai Son Nam players did their lap of honour; the bronze medal was as good as gold.

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Miguel Rodrigo (Thai Son Nam Head Coach)

“We knew what was at stake today and I am very satisfied with the victory. It was a fantastic performance from us. Obviously, there is still some way to go for us to catch Chonburi and Sanaye Giti Pasand but today, we have shown that we are kings of the second tier. But make no mistake; it is our aim to catch up with those teams.

“I must also congratulate coach Gago and his players for a fantastic tournament. More importantly, today’s result would not have been possible without the amazing support of the home fans who were cheering us right to the last minute. This is for all of them out there!”

Carlos Cesar Gago (Al Rayyan Head Coach)

“I think you could see that our energy levels just dropped today. This is what happens when you play the final match of the competition with the smallest team here. Congratulations to Thai Son Nam and to our players too, of course.

“Right now, yes, we are sad, but after this result settles down, I think we can reflect on a very proud campaign. To finish fourth in all of Asia is a very good achievement for this team.”

Photos: AFC