- AFC Futsal C'ship: Vietnam 2-1 Kuwait01:06 | 06/05/2014
Vietnam booked their place in the quarter-finals of the AFC Futsal Championship with a 2-1 win over Kuwait on Sunday, although the tournament hosts missed out on top spot in Group A on goal difference to their opponents after conceding with just five seconds remaining at Phu Tho Stadium.
Abdulrahman Al Mosabehi scored the crucial goal for Kuwait following a mistake from Vietnam goalkeeper Dang Phuoc Anh to hand his side a quarter-final meeting with Group B runners-up Australia on Wednesday.
And despite goals from Le Quoc Nam and Phung Trong Luan in either half handing Vietnam a second win of the campaign, Phuoc Anh’s error means Bruno Garcia’s side will now face 10-time champions Iran in the quarter-finals.
“I am very, very happy at the moment,” said coach Garcia after guiding Vietnam to the knockout stage for the first time.
“I am happy for the country and I would like to deliver this victory for our fans because they were outstanding before and throughout the game.
“This is sport and I hope my players will learn from the goal at the end and in the quarter-final it will be five-on-five for 40 minutes and anything can happen.”
Vietnam started the quicker of the two teams, but it was Kuwait who had the best of the early chances as Abdulrahman Al Taweel twice tested Phuoc Anh in quick succession.
But Vietnam’s first meaningful chance arrived in the seventh minute when Trong Luan fizzed a shot inches past the post from the sideline before Kuwait goalkeeper Hani Mhisen pulled off an acrobatic save to deny Pham Thanh Dat.
And the stadium erupted three minutes before half-time when Trong Luan drilled the ball across the face of goal for Quoc Nam to bundle home at the back post.
The lead could have been doubled 10 seconds later when Trong Luan was played through, but his shot was parried away by Mhisen.
But Vietnam did extend their lead four minutes into the second half as when Tran Van Vu was found in space and he squared the ball to Trong Luan to send the host fans into a frenzy.
That, coupled with the news that Iraq were beating Tajikistan, drew an immediate response from Kuwait coach Luis Fonseca as he replaced goalkeeper Mhisen with outfield player Abdulrahman Al Wadi.
And that forced Vietnam to drop deep and Al Mosabehi hit the crossbar for Kuwait with eight minutes remaining.
Hamad Hayat then fired over after a neat one-two with Ahmad Al Farsi with five minutes remaining before Al Wadi hit the post from close range two minutes later.
But the breakthrough finally arrived with just five seconds left on the clock as Phuoc Anh spilled a cross under little pressure and Al Mosabehi saw his shot trickle over the line to settle Kuwait’s nerves.
“Never has a defeat tasted so good, but this late goal will give us a big boost going into the next game,” said Kuwait coach Fonseca despite seeing his side suffer a first defeat of the tournament following earlier wins over Tajikistan and Iraq.
“It was a nervous game to say the least, and it was a display with both teams showing that they wanted to win.
“It is hard to describe this feeling, but at the end of the day, I think the players will be on a high and we go into the game with Australia thinking we can win.”
According to AFC
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