Yogyakarta: Mes Sungun Varzaghan clinched their first AFC Futsal Club Championship title with a 4-2 win over Thai Son Nam in the final on Sunday.
Mes Sungun captain Farhad Fakhim scored two goals in each half and was instrumental in steering Mes Sungun to their maiden title. The Iranian, who had a loan spell with Indonesia's Vamos FC this year, was happy but was quick to point out that the focus now will be to defend the title.
"Winning the championship may be tough, but keeping it is another thing all together. So we have to repeat this. I respect Thai Son Nam, they played very well, they have a good coach who is very tactical and their speed was remarkable. They made it very hard for us today.
"It will be a challenge for us to defend this title. But we are Iranians and who knows," said Fakhim.
Mes Sungun held the majority of possession against Thai Son Nam in a highly charged opening minutes in front of a packed crowd at the Gor Uny.
The team from Islamic Republic of Iran were quick off the blocks and tested Thai Son Nam goalkeeper Ho Van Y in the third minute after Hossein Tayebibidgoli tried his luck at goal with a sharp turn at the top of the arc.
Thai Son Nam tried to get their passing game going but found it hard against the Central Asians, who were quick to close in on their attacks.
However, Pham Duc Hoa broke free from his own half and his surging run on the right opened up Mes Sungun, with Pham pouncing on the opportunity to find the net from the top of the box in the fifth minute to put Thai Son Nam in the lead.
It was not long before Mes Sungun equalised, with Tayebibidgoli scoring with a cheeky back heel in the 10th minute following Saeid Taghidzadeh’s pass.
Mes Sungun picked up the pace and Fakhim put the Iranians in front when he scored off a corner in the 12th minute.
However, Thai Son Nam found their way back into the game in the 18th minute when Tran Van Vu’s effort from the top of the arc took a deflection and into the goalmouth.
In the second half, Mes Sungun maintained their intensity and caught their opponents off guard to take the lead in the 23rd minute when Fakhim unleashed a powerful shot from the top of the arc.
Boosted by the goal, Mes Sungun moved effortlessly around the court and came close to scoring again in the 31st minute when Ali Asghar Hassanzadeh’s shot from inside the box hit the crossbar.
With six minutes left, Thai Son Nam activated the power play with Nguyen Thanh Tin coming in for a five-pronged attack but they couldn’t break down Mes Sungun’s defence.
Hassanzadeh then wrapped proceedings up for Mes Sungun when he scored a penalty in the 39th minute.
Thai Son Nam Head Coach Miguel Rodrigo:
"We fought until the last second, we knew they were stronger, the favourites and the king of Asia but we held our own against them. Our opponents had more opportunities but our goalkeeper (Ho Van Y) made many saves and that kept us in the game. In the second half, we had chances to score to even the tie but their goalkeeper made the clearance on the line and we conceded a penalty late in the second half. They were superior but it was a great experience for us. I was a little surprised as luck was with us throughout the tournament. We were on the verge of getting knocked out twice and we bounced back to win those games. My players train hard at a very high level and they have come out as winners today. Hopefully a new national team is born today."
Mes Sungun Varzaghan Head Coach Hamid Bigham Tabrizi:
"This was a very tough match and both teams showed that they have the right to be champions. Thai Son Nam are a good team and I wish them well. We did our best and played our game but at the same time we did exactly what we wanted to do. Our focus next is to win the league and of course to defend our title next year."