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Previous Championships relived

Kuala Lumpur: The AFC Futsal Club Championship will celebrate its 10th year as excitement builds towards the 2019 edition in Bangkok where 16 teams will fight for Continental supremacy.

With less than a week to go before the tournament begins at the Bangkok Arena on August 7, takes a trip down memory lane as we look at the winners of the previous nine editions of the AFC Futsal Club Championship.

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2010: Foolad Mahan Sepahan (Islamic Republic of Iran)

Foolad Mahan won the inaugural AFC Futsal Club Championship in Isfahan with the help of Iranian futsal star Vahid Shamsaei, who at 35 showed no signs of ageing.

Shamsaei was in scintillating form throughout the tournament, knocking in 17 goals to help Foolad Mahan Sepahan to the first AFC Futsal Club Championship title in 2010 after defeating Qatar's Al Sadd 5-2 in the final.

Foolad Mahan knocked in a staggering 26 goals to top their group, before wins against Port FC of Thailand (5-3) sent them on their way to the final against Al Sadd.

Shamsaee’s sharpness in front of goal earned him the Top Goalscorer and Most Valuable Player Awards, and no other player has been able to match his feat of most goals scored in one season.

2011: Nagoya Oceans (Japan)

Nagoya Oceans breezed through the competition as they remained perfect and scored 21 goals during the group campaign to finish ahead of Qatar’s Al Rayyan, who had a young Ali Asghar Hassanzadeh among their ranks. He would go on to fire 10 goals to become the tournament top scorer.

Kaoru Morioka, Rafael Sakai and Tomoaki Watanabe were firing on all cylinders for the Japanese side as they edged Lebanon’s Al Sadaka 2-1 in the last four to reach the final where they needed extra-time to see off Shahid Mansouri of Islamic Republic of Iran 3-2.

2012: Sanaye Giti Pasand (Islamic Republic of Iran)

Mohammad Keshavarz, who was the MVP and a losing finalist in the 2011 final, finally got his reward after helping Sanaye Giti Pasand to the AFC Futsal Championship title in Kuwait.

Giti Pasand showcased a free-flowing style which earned them the 2012 title, seeing off the likes of Nagoya Oceans and Uzbekistan’s Ardus Tashkent to win the title.

It was the third time an Iranian team reached the AFC Futsal Championship final and the second time a team from the Central Asian nation lifted the championship. Keshavarz went on to win his second MVP award.

2013: Chonburi Bluewave (Thailand)

Rising powerhouse Chonburi Bluewave surprised many when they denied Sanaye Giti Pasand a second title in a row following their 4-1 penalty win over the defending champions in the final after a 1-1 score in normal regulation.

Bluewave and Giti Pasand were paired in the same group, with the Thai side finishing on top undefeated, coupled with a morale boosting 4-3 win over the Iranians. 2011 champions Nagoya Oceans were equally impressive, topping their group to advance to the knockout stage.

Giti Pasand came out 3-2 winners against Oceans in the semi-finals, while Bluewave sailed past China PR’s Shenzhen Nanling 5-2 to set up a mouthwatering clash.

Giti Pasand were minutes away from securing a historic double after Hossein Tayyebi Bidgoli’s early goal had given them a slim advantage. However, a young Suphawut Thueanklang would change the narrative when he struck the equaliser with a minute left to force a penalty shoot-out.

With momentum on their side, Bluewave went on to convert their spot-kicks while Mohammad Taheri was the only one to find the net for Giti Pasand as the Thai side clinched their maiden AFC Futsal Championship. Thueanklang was rewarded for his efforts as he picked up the MVP.

2014: Nagoya Oceans (Japan)

2014 was the year that saw Japanese futsal star Kaoru Morioka grab headlines when he steered Nagoya Oceans to their second AFC Futsal Championship in Chengdu, China.

Oceans were undefeated in the group stage, scoring 15 goals and only dropped points against Shenzhen Nanling in a 6-6 draw. Standing in Oceans’ way were defending champions Chonburi Bluewave who were also undefeated in group action, sharing the spoils with Kuwait’s Al Qadsia in a 4-4 stalemate. Oceans and Bluewave overcame their semi-final opponents with relative ease to make the final.

In the final, the Thais took a 2-1 lead going into the break but Morioka’s double in the second half paved the way for an Oceans comeback as Wataru Kitahara scored a late winner to seal a 5-4 victory. Morioka was the top scorer with five goals and won the MVP award.

2015: Tasisat Daryaei (Islamic Republic of Iran)

One of the best futsal players of his generation, 40-year-old Vahid Shamsaee would guide his new club Tasisat Daryaei of Islamic Republic of Iran to their first AFC Futsal Club Championship after defeating Kuwait’s Al Qadsia 5-4 in a thrilling final in Isfahan.

The evergreen Iranian, a two-time AFC Futsal Player of the Year who assumed the role of player-coach, was the inspiration behind Tasisat Daryaei’s success as he became the tournament’s top scorer with 10 goals and picked up the second MVP award in his illustrious career.

Tasisat Daryaei would ease into the knockout stage after winning their group matches ahead of Al Qadsia, who lost 9-2 against the home side in their final group game.

Shamsaee had Mohammad Keshavarz, Ali Asghar Hassanzadeh and goalkeeper Mostafa Nazari for teammates, as they edged two-time champions Nagoya Oceans, before seeing off Naft Al Wasat of Iraq en route to winning the title on home soil.

Shamsaee won his third AFC Futsal Player of the Year award in November 2015.

2016: Nagoya Oceans (Japan)

Nagoya Oceans of Japan became the most successful side to win the AFC Futsal Club Championship titles when they defeated Iraq’s Naft Al Wasat on penalties at the Bangkok Arena for their third title.

Oceans started their 2016 campaign on the backfoot as they collected only a point from a possible six, to finish behind group winners Chonburi Bluewave, but it was enough to qualify for the knockout stage ahead of Australian side Vic Vipers on goal difference.

The Japanese side would go on to hold defending champions Tasisat Daryaei 2-2 in the last eight and win the penalty shootout 3-2 before seeing off UAE’s Dibba Al-Hisn 3-1 for a showdown with Naft Al Wasat.

Naft Al Wasat’s Farhad Tavakoli was the driving force in the Iraqi side as they were leading 4-3 and were just minutes away from winning their first title. But Ryuta Hoshi’s last minute equaliser forced the match to penalties as Oceans held on to defeat Naft Al Wasat for a historic third title.

2017: Chonburi Bluewave

Three goals in the final against Sanaye Giti Pasand of Islamic Republic of Iran was Suphawut Thueanklang’s finest hour as Chonburi Bluewave won the AFC Futsal Club Championship for the second time.

Thueanklang, the 2013 AFC Futsal Player of the Year, together with free scoring Jirawat Sornwichian, would find the net in almost every game for the former champions as they put in a strong performance during their 2017 campaign.

Bluewave scored four past Japan’s Shriker Osaka and comprehensively defeated Thai Son Nam of Vietnam 6-0 to book a showdown against Giti Pasand, who had Ali Asghar Hassanzadeh and Ahmad Esmaeilpour in their attacking array.

Bluewave dominated the early proceedings - going up 2-0 with Thueanklang’s double before half-time - but Hassanzadeh and Esmaeilpour scored right after the restart. Their efforts, however, were in vain as Thueanklang found the net seconds later as Bluewave held on for the win.

2018: Mes Sungun

Mes Sungun continued IR Iran’s proud record in the competition when they became the fourth Iranian club to win the Continental club championship.

Ali Asghar Hassanzadeh led the charge for the Iranian club as they joined the ranks of Fooland Mahan (2010), Giti Pasand Isfahan (2012) and Tasisat Daryaei (2015).

Mes Sungun started their campaign as title favourites despite being newcomers to the tournament. The club followed the script and marched to the knockout stage easily.

Their real tests came when they faced Iraq’s Naft Al Wasat in the semi-finals and Vietnam’s Thai Son Nam in the final.

Naft held Mes Sungun 1-1 at half-time but fell 3-2 when the Iranians scored twice in the second half. In the final, the champions came from a goal down in the first half to defeat Thai Son Nam 4-2.

Mahdi Javid from Lebanon’s Bankof Beiruit won the tournament’s MVP and Top Goalscorer award.

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