Preview - Final: Mes Sungun, Nagoya Oceans promise an epic
Bangkok: The final of the AFC Futsal Club Championship Thailand 2019 between Mes Sungun Varseqan and Nagoya Oceans - two of the best teams in Asia - has all the ingredients to be a classic.
The 10th edition of the Continental club competition has produced several exciting matches but none came close to the Mes Sungun-Nagoya Oceans group stage encounter, which showcased the best of Asian club futsal.
Oceans won 3-2, ending Mes Sungun’s unbeaten run which stretched back to their 2018 title-winning campaign and the Islamic Republic of Iran side are eager for revenge.
They will have no margin for error though as Japanese side Oceans are the in-form team in the Championship and are determined to win a record-extending fourth AFC Futsal Club Championship title.
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Head coach Esmaeil Taghipour said Mes Sungun have already forgotten the group stage defeat.
“This is the final and it will be a different Mes Sungun from the one that lost to Nagoya in the group stage. We did not show all of our cards in that match,” said Taghipour.
Head coach Juan Zamora said Oceans are looking forward to playing Mes Sungun again.
“Our game plan has not changed since we beat them and it will be the same when we face them in the final,” said the Spaniard.
Last line of defence
In goal, Mes Sungun have one of the best shot stoppers in the business in Iran's national team goalkeeper Alireza Samimi.
“From the beginning of the competition we had just one goal - to win the tournament. Tomorrow's match will be epic against Nagoya and we will win the title,” said the 31-year-old, who has conceded 10 goals.
Samimi’s opposite number, 27-year-old Yushi Sekiguchi, has been equally brilliant for Oceans, letting in three less than Samimi, with an average ratio of 1.4 goals conceded per game.
Captain Farhad Fakhim has been a pillar for Mes Sungun throughout the competition. His ability to read the game is second to none and he can transform defence into attack in an instant.
Playing off the 34-year-old Fakhim are Alireza Vafaei and Mohammad Shajari, who have been in outstanding form for the defending champions.
“Everybody has a goal in life. I'm always thinking about my team's success. From the beginning, I've always had this drive to score goals for my team in every match,” said Vafaei.
Oceans captain Ryuta Hoshi (pictured below) has been equally outstanding, and his ability to stop counter-attacks with his strong physical presence and vision has helped his team time and again in Bangkok..
The 31-year-old has marshalled the centre with great effect alongside Nishitani Ryosuke and Yoshikawa Tomoki.
Mes Sungun’s Mahdi Javid is one of the best players in Asia. The 2018 MVP was the top scorer in last year’s edition and is always a danger, even when not at his best.
Javid, who has scored seven goals, is also a goal provider and has the highest number of assists in the competition with six.
Playing alongside Javid is Alireza Askari Kohan (pictured below), who is quick on the wings and has shown his creative ability with two assists to his name.
Shota Hoshi and Pepita are the attacking force for Oceans.
The duo have combined to score 10 goals while Hirata Neto Antonio and Ryosuke Nishitani are clever at holding up play.
It surely promises to be an epic final between two equally-matched teams.
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