Semi-final - Preview: Thai Son Nam, Bank of Beirut set for showdown
Yogyakarta: Bank of Beirut are in Thai Son Nam’s way of landing their first title when the sides meet in the AFC Futsal Club Championship Indonesia 2018 semi-finals on Friday.
the-AFC.com takes a look at how the teams progressed into the semi-finals.
Thai Son Nam (VIE)
Goals scored: 20
Goals conceded: 10
Top scorer: Nguyen Minh Tri (5 goals)
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Thai Son Nam’s route to the Knockout Stage was not a smooth journey following their 4-3 defeat to Nafit Al Wasat in their second group match. But the Vietnam club came back strongly to beat Al Dhafra in their final group game to finish second.
Thai Son Nam are the only ASEAN team left in the competition after ousting three-time champions Nagoya Oceans 3-2 in the quarter-finals, while defending champions Bluewave Chonburi fell to Bank of Beirut 3-2 on penalties following a 7-7 score.
Miguel Rodrigo’s men will want to improve on their third-place finish achieved in 2015 and 2017 and he will be hoping that their morale boosting win over Nagoya on Wednesday can lift the confidence of his charges to another level.
Head coach Rodrigo said: “We will have to be relaxed and calm against Bank of Beirut. It’s not going to be easy, they are a strong team but we will be ready.”
Bank of Beirut (LIB)
Goals scored: 23
Goals conceded: 13
Top scorer: Mahdi Javid (8 goals)
Bank of Beirut are just one win away from reaching the final and their performance has been impressive. The West Asians have bettered their previous best of having reached the quarter-finals in 2015 and 2017.
The Lebanese club dethroned defending champions Bluewave Chonburi in a thrilling encounter on Wednesday, edging them 3-2 on penalties following a 7-7 score. The win was their second over the Thais after their national team beat Thailand 5-2 in the group stages of the 2018 AFC Futsal Championship in Chinese Taipei.
IR Iran's Mahdi Javid has been clinical for the club, scoring eight goals and confidence in the team is high.
Head coach Dejan Dedovic said: "We have beaten the champions and now our focus is on the next match against Thai Son Nam. We will do our best.”
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