Preview - Quarter-final: Bank of Beirut vs Mes Sungun Varzeqan
Bangkok: Defending champions Mes Sungun Varseqan of Islamic Republic of Iran will face familiar foes when they take on Lebanon’s Bank of Beirut in the AFC Futsal Club Championship Thailand 2019 quarter-finals at the Bangkok Arena on Wednesday.
Bank of Beirut will face a tough challenge when they face Mes Sungun for the second time in the Continental competition, with the Iranian side having won their previous encounter 3-1 in last year’s group stage.
Victory against Mes Sungun on Wednesday will see the Lebanese side make their second appearance in the semi-finals, while the defending champions are aiming to create history by winning consecutive titles.
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Bank of Beirut have been impressive so far in the tournament, after finishing on top of their group with three wins against Indonesia’s Vamos FC, Soro Company of Tajikistan and Myanmar’s Victoria University College.
Bank of Beirut head coach Hassan Hammoud revealed the Lebanese club are ready for the tough test against the defending champions.
“We are in the quarter-finals against Mes Sungun tomorrow. They are a strong team with many quality players."
Ahmad Kheir El Dine and Suphawut Thueanklang have combined to score four goals for Bank of Beirut and Hammoud believes his team’s strength can carry them into the semi-finals.
“It’s a very important game for Bank of Beirut but we have our strengths. It’s going to be a tough match and we will try our best to win the game.
“The players need their rest to recover as we’ve played a lot of games. There is more pressure now at this stage of the competition and we need to prepare for that.”
Mes Sungun will go into the tie having lost their impressive unbeaten record stretching back to last year's campaign.
They lost to Nagoya Oceans of Japan in their final group match on Monday and head coach Esmaeil Taghipour wants his team to bounce back from their first ever defeat in the competition.
“We are feeling a bit of pressure because we lost a good player (Saeid Taghizadeh) through injury during the match against Al Dhafra.
“Our other concern is that in our last match against Nagoya Oceans, we were in good goal scoring positions but lost the match and because of that our confidence has taken a dip."
Taghipour, however, is confident captain Farhad Fakhim and his men will see off Bank of Beirut's challenge and take their place in the semi-finals.
“All the teams in the final eight have an equal chance of qualifying for the next round. Bank of Beirut are a good side but we are staying focused in our approach and are working towards progressing further in this tournament.”
Fixture - Wednesday (local time): Bank of Beirut vs Mes Sungun Varseqan (14:00)
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