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Preview: Nagoya Oceans lead Group A charge

Friday, July 27, 2018
Nagoya Oceans v Nafit - 2016 FCC final

Yogyakarta: For the first time in the tournament’s nine-year history, 16 teams will feature in the AFC Futsal Club Championship 2018 in Yogyakarta on August 1-12. previews the four teams in Group A.

Vamos FC (IDN)

Previous Appearance: 1

Best finish: group stage

Vamos FC created history in Vietnam last year as the first Indonesian side to feature in an AFC Futsal Club Championship.

The 2018 hosts bowed out of the tournament after finishing third in their group, registering a win and two losses, behind Al Rayyan and Naft Al-Wasat.

The Indonesians secured back-to-back Pro Futsal League (PFL) Championship titles, equalling IPC Pelindo II who achieved the feat in 2011-12 and Electric PLN (2008-09).

They will be without Iranian import and former Giti Pasand player Ali Abedin, who left the club in June.

Andri Kustiawan, who was the PFL top scorer in 2018 with 27 goals, will spearhead Vamos FC’s attack alongside Syahidansyah Lubis and Alfajri Zikri.

Nagoya Oceans (JPN)

Previous Appearances: 7

Best finish: Champions - 2011, 2014, 2016

Three-time AFC Futsal Club champions Nagoya Oceans are back in the fold and will be making their eighth appearance in the tournament.

The runaway leaders in the F.League are on course to claim their 10th domestic title but did not feature in the previous edition of the AFC Futsal Club Championship after finishing third in the 2017 F.League, with Shriker Osaka winning the title.

Osaka went on to play in last year’s AFC Futsal Club Championship in Ho Chih Minh City, bowing out to eventual champions Chonburi Bluewave 4-2 in the quarter-finals.

Oceans will be aiming to make up for last year's miss when they begin their quest for glory on August 2 against China’s Dalian Yuan Dynasty Club.

Dalian Yuan Dynasty FC (CHN)

Previous Appearance: 1

Best finish: group stage

Dalian Yuan Dynasty FC will be making their second appearance in the competition.

The 2016–17 China Futsal Super League champions ended their 2016 AFC Futsal Club Championship campaign with a point to finish last in their group behind Naft Al-Wasat and Dibba Al-Hisn.

Dalian had a slim chance of advancing to the knockout round as the 1-1 draw against Dibba in their opening match gave them hope. But it was not meant to be as they lost 5-1 to group winners Naft and will be targeting a place in the knockout stage in Yogyakarta.

Victoria University College FC (MYA)

Previous Appearance: Debutants

Victoria University College, Myanmar’s representatives, will be powered by six players who featured in the 2018 AFC Futsal Championship in Chinese Taipei.

The tournament debutants will be aiming to shock the established teams as they bid to extend their inaugural appearance.

Photos: AFC, Victoria University College FC