Nagoya Oceans win fourth title
Bangkok: Nagoya Oceans defeated Mes Sungun Varseqan 2-0 in the final to clinch a record-extending fourth AFC Futsal Club Championship title at the Bangkok Arena on Saturday.
Neto Antonio Hirata and Ryohei Ando were the Oceans' scorers as the Japanese outfit dashed Mes Sungun's bid to win back-to-back titles.
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The early stages were an evenly matched contest with both sides playing with extreme caution with neither side finding much room to create chances.
It was only in the sixth minute that Oceans had their first opportunity at goal but Ryosuke Nishitani’s effort from above the arc lacked sting and was easily collected by Mes Sungun goalkeeper Alireza Samimi.
Mes Sungun responded immediately but captain Farhad Fakhim could not find the target after dribbling into the box.
Oceans began to see more of the ball and took the lead in the seventh minute through Hirata’s fine strike from inside the box with Soma Mizutani providing the assist.
A stunned Mes Sungun almost conceded another goal two minutes later when Mohammad Shajari lost possession in his own half which forced Samimi into making a save from Oceans’ Ryuta Hoshi and later the follow-up from Masaya Hashimoto.
Mes Sungun had a half chance in 11th minute but an unmarked Mahdi Javid failed to connect to Fakhim’s pass.
The Iranian club wasted several chances after that with Alireza Askari Kohan sending his shot over the bar in the 15th minute and Fakhim firing his effort high in the 19th minute as Oceans took a 1-0 lead into the break.
Mes Sungun came back fighting in the second half and Javid had the goalmouth in sight in the 22nd minute but the Oceans players were quick to snuff out the chance.
Oceans, however, slowly begin to dominate with their fast-attacking transitions, which almost bore fruit in the 23rd minute but Samimi was equal to the challenge when he saved efforts from Pepita and then Ryohei Ando.
Oceans came close to finding the net at the half-hour mark but with only the goalkeeper to beat Tomoki Yoshikawa fired his effort wide.
The Japanese club’s persistence paid off in the 34th minute when Ando scored a volley following Yoshikawa’s corner to increase their advantage.
Mes Sungun deployed the power play but it was to no avail as Oceans held on to claim a richly deserved fourth AFC Futsal Club Championship title.
Esmaeil Taghipour: Mes Sungun Varseqan head coach
“From the start of the competition we played well. We lost to Nagoya Oceans but I’m proud of players for their efforts.”
Juan Fuentes: Nagoya Oceans head coach
“I’m very happy, we had an incredible tournament here and thanks to my players for doing their best to win the title.”
ROLL OF HONOUR
Champions: Nagoya Oceans (JPN)
Runners-up: Mes Sungun Varzeqan (IRN)
Third: Thai Son Nam (VIE)
Most Valuable Player: Tomoki Yoshikawa (Nagoya Oceans)
Top Scorer: Kazuya Shimizu (10 goals, Thai Son Nam)
Fairplay: Mes Sungun Varzeqan
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