Group D: Indonesia 6-3 Chinese Taipei
Tabriz: Indonesia sealed their place in the knockout stage of the AFC U-20 Futsal Championship IR Iran 2019 with a 6-3 win over Chinese Taipei in Group D action on Saturday.
The defeat ended Chinese Taipei's campaign as they had lost to 2017 runners-up Iraq 5-2 in their opening tie on Friday. Indonesia will now play Iraq on Sunday to decide the Group D winners.
Knowing they had to win to keep their hopes alive, Chinese Taipei started on the front foot but less than 90 seconds into the match, Indonesia claimed first blood through Mohammad Afif Rizky’s effort, who displayed some impressive dribbling skills before beating Sun Chi-Yuan from outside the box.
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Chinese Taipei played mostly on the counter-attack and in the fifth minute, Fu Wei-Da intercepted a pass and after a neat sequence of passes with Huang Yu-Wei, Fu netted their equaliser.
Their joy was short lived, however, as Indonesia restored their lead when Muhammad Rizky Xavier seized a poor Chinese Taipei back-pass, and Abdussalam seized the opportunity as he surged down the court before tapping in Xavier’s pass in the sixth minute.
Indonesia constantly found a way past the Chinese Taipei defence and went further ahead in the ninth minute when Filippo Inzaghi was fouled inside the box, which the forward duly converted to make it 3-1.
For Chinese Taipei, Wang Kun-Wei came close in the 11th minute as his effort struck the upright, but Huang made no mistake a minute later to reduce their deficit.
Chinese Taipei slowly came out of their defensive shell and began pressing the Indonesians back, but the 2017 quarter-finalists easily fended off the East Asians.
Indonesia widened their lead in the 15th minute when Muhammad Syaifullah sent a long range cross that Huang failed to intercept and a grateful Muhammad Sanjaya drove home the loose ball.
With their early jitters overcome, Indonesia returned in the second half more speedy in their movements and dominated possession, but struggled to translate it into goals, with Dewa Rizki Amanda being denied by the frame in the 25th minute.
In an attempt to gain control, Chinese Taipei surged forward, but were caught off guard when an unexpected cross from Indonesian skipper Ramadhan Zidani saw Sanjaya heading home to make it 5-2 in the 27th minute.
The back-and-forth action was non-stop as Indonesia custodian Ahmad Habiebie was shown a direct red card for a handball outside his area, and Chen Ching-Hang was perfect with his shot, beating both the ‘keeper and his defenders.
Moments later, Indonesia were awarded a free-kick of their own when Chen was fouled for pulling Afif Rizky near the second penalty spot, and Sanjaya unleashed a crackling strike into the bottom left corner of the net to complete his hat-trick.
Indonesia's margin of victory could have been higher but Chinese Taipei ‘keeper Chen Wei-Chun pulled off several saves but the Southeast Asians can now start planning for Iraq.
Sayan Karmadi: Indonesia head coach “Some of the players were quite nervous, which is okay in a big match like this. We hope we can do better in the match against Iraq tomorrow. We will, of course, focus on winning that match. It’s not going to be easy as they were runners-up in the previous edition."
Chang Chien-Ying: Chinese Taipei head coach “Indonesia is a very good team. One of the best in the group. There were a lot of things we weren’t aware of. It’s definitely still a positive experience for the players. These two matches will serve as ingredients for them to grow. In order to close the gap, we have to improve the individual skills of the players, as well as an overall understanding of the game.”
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