ASEAN Wrap: Albirex crowned champions; Western’s title defence begins with loss
Kuala Lumpur: Albirex Niigata (S) have claimed their fifth Singapore Premier League title in seven seasons after they defeated defending champions Lion City Sailors 4-2 on Friday to win the league with two games to spare.
In Australia, the new A-League season kicked off on Friday as defending champions Western United began with a defeat to Melbourne City while Melbourne Victory can enjoy 'Big Blue' bragging rights after defeating rivals Sydney FC.
Elsewhere, Chonburi FC made it six wins out of six in Thailand, while there were also matches in Malaysia, Vietnam, the Philippines, Cambodia and Myanmar, so join the-AFC.com as we review all the action from across Southeast Asia.
East Asia Wrap: Ulsan defeat Jeonbuk to close in on title; leaders Marinos beaten
Hong Kong: After going so close, yet so far during the last few years, it finally looks like Ulsan Hyundai’s season in Korea Republic as a last-gasp 2-1 win over defending champions Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors has them just one win away from a first K League 1 title since 2005.
In Japan, leaders Yokohama F. Marinos stumbled to a 2-0 defeat to struggling Gamba Osaka whose survival hopes received a major boost, while reigning champions Kawasaki Frontale won to close the gap at the top to five points with three games left to play.
Table-toppers Wuhan Three Towns opened up a three-point lead in China PR after title rivals Shandong Taishan dropped points against Beijing FC, and there were also matches in Hong Kong, Mongolia and Chinese Taipei, so join the-AFC.com as we look back at last week’s action from across East Asia.
Unity, self belief secured Japan championship, says Kogure
Kuwait City: Head coach Kenichiro Kogure attributed unity and self belief as the keys to Japan lifting their fourth AFC Futsal Asian Cup™ title on Saturday.
Japan had a rough start to their Kuwait 2022 campaign, falling 2-1 to Saudi Arabia on Matchday One of the Group Stage, but the team’s unity and self belief saw the East Asians overcome all challenges to eventually dethrone Islamic Republic of Iran with a 3-2 comeback win at the Saad Al Abdullah Hall.
Shamsaee: IR Iran will learn from final heartbreak
Kuwait City: Islamic Republic of Iran were unable to defend their AFC Futsal Asian Cup™ title after falling 3-2 to Japan in the Kuwait 2022 final, and head coach Vahid Shamsaee hopes his players can learn from Saturday's heartbreaking defeat.
Iran opened the scoring at the Saad Al Abdullah Hall through Saied Ahmad Abbasi’s 15th-minute strike, only for Kazuya Shimizu to cancel out their lead a minute later.
Despite Shamsaee's side dominating, Japan took the lead in the second half through Arthur Oliveira’s sublime free-kick, and went further behind when Abbasi scored an own goal in the final minute, with Alireza Javan Shahkali’s last ditch effort coming too late as Iran were denied a record-extending 13th title.
Synergy led to Uzbekistan’s third-place finish, says Akhmedov
Kuwait City: Head coach Bakhodir Akhmedov credited the synergy between Uzbekistan’s young and experienced players for the Central Asian side’s third-place finish in the AFC Futsal Asian Cup™ Kuwait 2022 on Saturday.
Uzbekistan were simply unstoppable after bouncing back from a goal down to defeat Thailand 8-2 at the Saad Al Abdullah Hall.