Courtesy: The AFC.comPractice makes perfect for hero HenmiSaturday, 26 May 2012
Dubai: Rafael Henmi revealed he had no doubts that he would convert the last-gasp penalty that gave Japan a hard-fought 3-2 win over Lebanon in their Group B opener on Friday.
The thrilling encounter was poised at 2-2 with just eight seconds left when Mohammad Iskandari gave away Lebanon's sixth foul of the match giving Henmi the chance to be the match-winner.
And the 20-year-old, who was part of Nagoya Oceans' 2011 AFC Futsal Club Championship-winning squad, displayed nerves of steel to confidently dispatch the kick past Lebanon keeper Rabie El Kakhi to give Japan the victory.
"I have been practicing in training so I was always confident I was going to score," Henmi told www.the-afc.com
"After all, what we do in training is what we implement during the game."
Despite his individual bravado Henmi did admit that Japan started the match a bit sluggishly saying:
"In the beginning we were a bit nervous as it was our first game and initially we didn't play the kind of futsal we wanted but in the end we showed our capability.
"The key was unity and teamwork and this will play a role not just in this match but in every game throughout the tournament."
Japan's next match is on Saturday is against Tajikistan and will be streamed live on www.the-afc.com
Courtesy: The AFC.comSkipper ‘speechless’ after stunning strikeSaturday, 26 May 2012
Dubai: Captain Bader Ibrahim admitted that his superb angled drive that gave the UAE a 2-1 lead over Turkmenistan and the subsequent Abdulkarim Jamil goal that capped the 2012 AFC Futsal Championship hosts’ historic win on their tournament debut left him ‘speechless’.
Yousif Mohamed scored the UAE’s first-ever goal in the finals with just five minutes played and after the hosts missed a raft of chances in the first-period Mergen Atayev struck the equaliser 30 seconds before the half-time buzzer.
The game remained locked at 1-1 until the 35th minute when Ibrahim’s sweetly-struck shot from an acute angle gave the UAE a 2-1 lead which they extended in the final seconds through Jamil after Turkmenistan’s power play failed to find the equaliser.
“This was an unbelievable experience,” beamed Bader when www.the-afc.com asked the 28-year-old to sum up what the victory meant to him.
“After the goal I was speechless and you could see from the reaction of the crowd what it meant for us.
Despite taking a fifth-minute lead the UAE skipper admitted that the tournament debutants did suffer from a bout of stage-fright, with five of the 11 outfield players having never played in an international competition.
“I think in the first few minutes we were a little bit nervous playing on such a big stage but we soon settled down and played our normal game.
“If we can improve match by match then I think we stand a good chance of reaching the quarter-finals.”
The UAE will be looking to build on their historic win when they take on Kyrgyzstan, who went down 2-0 to Thailand in their opening fixture, in Saturday’s second round of Group A matches, all of which will be streamed live on www.the-afc.com
Posted by Luca Ranocchiari