The Vietnamese men’s futsal team failed in their attempt to ‘take revenge’ for their association football peers in a quarterfinal clash with Uzbekistan in the 2018 AFC Futsal Championship in Taiwan on Thursday.
The White Wolves dominated the Golden Stars for 40 minutes to secure a 3-1 victory and advance to the semifinals.
Mashrab Adilov took the lead for Uzbekistan in the first half before Choriev netted a second goal after the break.
Phung Trong Luan narrowed the gap with a goal in the 28th minute, but Ilhomjon Hamroev locked in a win with a third goal for Uzbekistan just before the game ended.
Vietnam's coach Miguel Rodrigo said his team’s loss was a result of Uzbekistan’s ability to “[punish] us on every big mistake we made.”
The Vietnamese side repeated several of the mistakes they made in the tourney opener where they were defeated 1-2 by Malaysia, according to the coach.
“I can’t blame my players because it’s a young team. Seven of them are playing in the knockout phase for the first time,” Rodrigo said.
“We need more experience. We are building a new group of young players, but we need more time.”
Uzbekistan’s coach Bakhodir Akhmedov hailed Vietnam’s performance, but asserted that his men won because “we took our chances, but [Vietnam] didn’t.”
“I can say that Vietnam is one of the upcoming developing teams with a strong futsal squad,” he said.
|Vietnam (white) and Uzbekistan players fight for the ball during their quarterfinal match at the 2018 AFC Futsal Championship in Taiwan on February 8, 2018. Photo: AFC|
Vietnam’s futsal loss to Uzbekistan rubbed more salt into the wounds of the country’s fans, many of whom are still upset over the U23 team’s defeat by the Uzbeks in the final of the 2018 AFC U23 Championship in China last month.
Vietnam also failed to better their best result at the futsal competition, following their fourth-place finish in 2016, when Uzbekistan ended the competition as the runner-up.
Uzbekistan will face reigning champions Iran, who routed Thailand 9-1 in the other quarterfinal game on Thursday, in the semifinal on Friday. The match is a repeat of the 2016 final where the White Wolves lost 2-1.
“It’s going to be a really tough game against Iran and we will show our best performance against them to try to reach the final,” coach Akhmedov said.
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