Thu, 28 Oct, 2021
Tashkent: Thailand and Australia go head-to-head for a place in the semi-finals of the AFC Futsal Championship on Wednesday with both declaring there will be ‘no secrets’ ahead of the quarter-final tie at Universal Stadium.
The pair have met six times over the past four years and as recently as the final of the AFF (ASEAN Football Federation) Futsal Championship in October, which Thailand won 5-3 in Bangkok.
“We know each other very well, we have no secrets and we also know the strengths of Australia,” said Thailand coach Victor Hermans.
“Since 2012 we have played each other numerous times, and although we have won each of those games, we know there will come a time when we lose and we can’t afford to be complacent.”
“We have to be careful not to fall into the trap of how Australia like to play,” added Hermans.
“In their match against Qatar it was a very open contest and that’s exactly how they like things.
“They have a fantastic captain in Gregory Giovenali and they have great power and strength compared to my team, so we know we have to try and play tactically and then we’ll see how we go.”
Thailand’s Suphawut Thueanklang is currently the leading scorer in the tournament having netted eight goals, including hat-tricks against both Tajikistan and Vietnam.
“We don’t like to focus too much on one player even though his talents are obvious, but I think Australia will probably look to man-mark him with Giovenali,” said Hermans.
Australia, meanwhile, are making their sixth successive continental quarter-final appearance at the AFC Futsal Championship despite Monday’s 3-1 defeat by Japan.
“We come up against Thailand regularly and we know just how good they are” said Australia coach Rob Varela.
“They have exciting attacking players and obviously Suphawut has been outstanding, but we’re not going to focus all our energies on him because that then leaves space for others to do damage.
“Thailand are also strong defensively and we know just how big a challenge this will be, but we are excited to face that and I’m confident we can do well.”