Courtesy: The AFC.comRodrigo hails opponents’ first-half displaySunday, 27 May 2012
Dubai: Japan may have ran out comfortable 6-1 winners over Chinese Taipei in their final AFC Futsal Championship UAE 2012 Group B fixture on Sunday but Miguel Rodrigo, head coach of the 2006 champions, admitted his side were given a tough time in the opening period.
Chinese Taipei took a sixth-minute lead when Lo Chih-an capitalised on a slip from Tetsuya Murakami just outside the goal area and charged up the court before adroitly slipping the ball past Toru Fukimbara before Rafael Henmi equalised five minutes later as the two team went into the interval locked at 1-1 after an evenly-fought first period.
But the gulf in experience and ability told after the restart when another from Henmi, a double from skipper Kenichiro Kogure and goals from Yusuke Komiyama and Murakami saw Japan ease to victory.
“I was talking with the Chinese Taipei coach after the game and I congratulated him on his team’s performance in the first-half,” Rodrigo remarked at the post-match press conference.
“They were very well organised, performed very well in defence and we struggled to score a goal.
“The keys to the result were in the second half when we changed our defensive system and improved our set-pieces. We were also more calm in the second-half and I would like to repeat what I have said before that there are now no more easy games in Asia.”
Chinese Taipei coach Tsai Chia Feng admitted that his side lacked the experience to compete at this level and voiced his hope that the footballing authorities in his homeland and work towards developing the game for the future.
““It was the last game so we had no pressure and we have learned a lot from this match as Japan play very, very well,” he remarked.
“In this game we attacked from the start and we deserved the first goal but in all our three matches we have missed too many chances.
“We have a lot of players with potential so hopefully we can play better in future tournaments.
“We hope that the CTFA (Chinese Taipei Football Association) will work with our young players and maybe in the future we will have a strong professional league.”
Courtesy: The AFC.comOur finishing must improve: AraujoSunday, 27 May 2012
Dubai: Lebanon’s hard-fought win over Tajikistan on Sunday means they are one match shy of going into the finals of any football / futsal competition for the first time in their history.
Like any Lebanon citizen, Spanish coach Francisco Araujo is upbeat and determined to take his team to Thailand later this year, where the world's showpiece of futsal will be held in November.
“That’s a dream we saw together when I started working with this side back in November,” we are almost there but the last hurdle will definitely be harder than ever,” the former Barcelona futsal player and a product of famous Cantera said.
Araujo played in Spanish Super League for 15 years including his best spell in native Barcelona. The former Costa Rica coach, arrived in October 2011 in Lebanon and started his duty from November.
Lebanon took part in the West Zone qualifier under his vigil but emerging from the disappointing 4-1 loss to Iraq in the group phase, they defeated Iraq 1-0 in the third-place play off eventually booking a place for the tournament proper.
“We are not much concerned over whom we play in the quarterfinal as at this level all the matches are big and important but we have to work on our finishing, I am not impressed with what I saw today against Tajikistan, we could have kill the match off well before,” he told www.the-afc.com.
Lebanon, the second-placed team of Group B will have to face Group A winner most probably Thailand but all the Group A matches are scheduled for late Sunday here in Dubai.
Courtesy: The AFC.comMendez congratulates table-toppers KuwaitSunday, 27 May 2012
Dubai: Uzbekistan coach Pazos Mendez took a magnanimous approach to Kuwait’s surprise finish at the top of the Group D table saying that the West Asian Zone qualifiers should be congratulated on ‘a job well done’.
The former Thailand coach was speaking at the press conference after seeing Uzbekistan hammer Indonesia 9-1 only to miss out on the top spot on goal difference after Kuwait had defeated China 5-0.
After drawing 1-1 with Kuwait, who have failed to get beyond the group stage at the last four AFC Futsal Championships, and edging China 2-1 Uzbekistan were hoping for the East Asians to get a favourable result against the Kuwaitis.
However, the Gulf side’s emphatic win meant that the three-time runners-up had to settle for second-place in the standings and a quarter-final clash with the Group C winners which is almost certain to be Asian futsal powerhouse Iran, champions in ten of the 11 tournaments.
“For Kuwait to finish first means that they have done a very good job,” said the Spaniard.
“I know their coach (Luis Fonseca) and I know they had a good training camp in Spain but nobody expected them to be first.
“I always knew that this would be the toughest group from the start and while it is a surprise for them to be top they have come through three difficult games
“I had a coffee with their coach recently and even he didn’t expect them to top the group but they did a very good job so congratulations to them.”
Courtesy: The AFC.comBack to the drawing board for IndonesiaSunday, 27 May 2012
Dubai: Indonesia coach Andri Irawan has said he will review Indonesia's performances after a disappointing AFC Futsal Championship campaign as the ASEAN nation looks to building a stronger side for the future.
Indonesia's campaign ended with a 9-1 hammering at the hands of Uzbekistan in an academic match for Irawan's side following defeats to China (5-2) and Kuwait (9-3) with a squad that was significantly different from the one that took part in the South-East Asian qualifiers
"This was a very different set of players from those that took part in the qualifiers and this was a very difficult group but I think the players will have learned a lot from the experience," Irawan said following Sunday's loss to the Uzbeks at the Al Wasl Indoor Stadium.
"With each game here I could see the team improving but for the last game we were without two of our key players in Ismail, who also missed the game against Kuwait and Bayu (Bambang Bayu Saptaji) so it was always going to be difficult for us.
"We looked at the technique and character of all the players but we gambled on taking a young squad but the gamble didn't pay off. 80% of the players are under the age of 23 so we were not just looking at this tournament and we were thinking about the long term.
"We will go back and review all the matches and analyse where we can improve."
Posted by Luca Ranocchiari