Vamos bow out with heads held high
Yogyakarta: Vamos FC’s fairytale run may have ended after their 7-4 defeat to Nafit Al Wasat in the quarter-finals of the AFC Futsal Club Championship Indonesia 2018 on Wednesday but they have set the bar high for Indonesia.
The Indonesian club exceeded expectations when they qualified for the Knockout Stage after finishing second in their group on goal difference.
Vamos, a young team that was put together just weeks before the start of the tournament following the exit of established players, took the game to Iraqi side Nafit at the Gor Amongrogo.
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Although the odds were against Reza Falahzadeh’s men, Vamos made Nafit sweat after a spirited fightback saw them take a 3-2 lead in the second half and dug deep to equalise in the final minute after conceding two goals to force extra time following a 4-4 deadlock in normal regulation.
Their performance, however, took a dip in extra time when their standout player Marvin Alexa Wossiry, limped off injured at the start of extra time. That allowed Nafit to fire three more goals to end the tie 7-4.
"We lost to Nafit last year and today it was a good match but my players were fatigued in extra time,” said Falahzadeh
“We used power play to come back into the game, it’s a strategy and sometimes you win or you can lose but we had our best player injured in extra time and it made things difficult for us.
“I want to apologise for losing today and I'm proud of my players and I hope we can progress further in the next edition."
“Nafit had two Iranian players in their lineup and they played extremely well but my players never gave up and fought hard to stay in the game. But we lost some momentum in extra time and were punished for that,” said Syahidansyah Lubis, who earned praise from Nafit head coach Haitham Abbas Bawei for his performance.
“I want to thank my teammates who were excellent today (Wednesday), the head coach and his staff and especially to all the fans who did not lose hope and were with us throughout our journey.”
At the end of the match, Vamos received a standing ovation from their fans who sang the Indonesia national anthem and in a show of sportsmanship, Nafit players along with Bawei and his management staff stayed in the centre circle and applauded Vamos and their supporters.
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