AFC Futsal: Vietnam grasp quarterfinal place with stunning fight back

Tuesday, 2018-02-06 12:42:54
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Vietnam (in red) make it through to the quarterfinals following two wins and one loss in the group stage.
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NDO – Vietnam returned from a goal down to beat Chinese Taipei 3-1 in the last group stage clash at the AFC Futsal Championship 2018 on February 5, to advance into the quarterfinals as Group A leaders.

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Coach Miguel Rodrigo entered the match needing the full three points of a win in order to progress beyond their group, as they had been sitting third in the group table.

The Southeast Asian team were set up in an attacking style right from the first whistle, but failed to break through Chinese Taipei’s solid defence.

Frustrated by coming up against a wall of defenders blocking the opposition goal, Rodrigo’s side resorted to speculative long-range strikes, and the lack of accuracy in their finishes prevented them from open the scoring.

In the last minute of the first half, Chinese Taipei produced an excellent counterattack, with Huang Po Chun firing a powerful shot from outside the area that proved enough to beat Vietnamese goalkeeper Dinh Thuan and break the deadlock.

After the interval, Rodrigo’s side build up a head of pressure as they sought a way back into the game. Their efforts paid off with Duc Tuan’s equaliser in the 29th minute.

Duc Hoa took advantage of Chinese Taipei’s defensive lapse to make it 2-1 for Vietnam two minutes later, before Duc Huy sealed a 3-1 victory with an accurate shot from inside his own half to Taipei’s empty nets.

The brilliant second-half resurgence awarded Miguel Rodrigo and his players a quarterfinal berth against the Group B runners-up, Uzbekistan, on February 8. Meanwhile, as Group A’s second place team, Bahrain will take on the Group B winners, Japan, in the other quarterfinal clash on the same day.