Defending champions Thaiport FC won their third consecutive match today to deservingly march into the final of the AFF Futsal Club Championship.
At the Futsal Indoor Stadium here tonight, Thaiport survived a feisty challenge from Myanmar Imperial College (MIC) FC before prevailing 3-1 tonight.
Thaiport, with earlier victories over Vietnam club, Thai Son Nam and Lanexang United FC, have amassed nine points from three games. Even if they lose their last group match to Black Steel tomorrow, Thaiport will finish second and still make the final.
For the record, the top two teams in the standings at the end of the preliminary round will play in the final while the next two teams will battle in the third-fourth placing playoff on Saturday.
In tonight’s match, Thaiport were expected to cruise through, instead the opposite took place. It was clear from the start that MIC FC were not going to give in easily. It took Thaiport 16 minutes before the finally broke through.
Lertchai Issarasuwipakorn, off a freekick, cheekily flicked the ball over the out-of-position goalkeeper. But as Kyaw Htet Aung attempted to clear the ball, he inadvertently knocked it into is own net.
MIC FC were undaunted and took the fight to their opponents after the break. Their efforts finally paid off in the 32nd minute Naing Ye Kyaw hammered in a rebound off the Thaiport keeper in the 32nd minute.
As the battle raged on, Chaivat Jamgrajang turned in a cross at the far post in the 38th minute. With a minute on the clock, Chaivat slammed home a penalty.
In what was a battle for survival, Indonesia’s Black Steel defeated Lanexang United FC to qualify for the third-fourth placing qualifying match on Saturday. Lanexang, which did not have any points from their earlier matches, needed to win today to remain in the competition.
The defeat means Lanexang end their run here at the bottom of the standings and will head home earlier.
Lanexang were trailing by two goals at the sixth minute but managed to claw their way back with two goals from quick counter-attacks. Black Steel bagged the two opening goals in the fourth and fifth minutes through Ikhsani Fajar and Ardiansyah. Lanexang leveled with goals from Soukaphone Vongchiengkham and DaoneuaSiviengxay.
Black Steel then turned up the heat, with their speed and quick passes, soon caught their opponents off. The Indonesians blasted four more goals before the break for a comfortable 6-2 lead at halftime. At the end of the match, Black Steel trooped off with a 13-7 win and assured of a place in the third-fourth placing playoffs.
Black Steel (Ina) bt Lanexang United FC 13-7
Thaiport FC (Tha) bt Myanmar Imperial College (MIC) FC (Mya) 3-1
Khon Kaen FC (Tha) bt Women’s FC (Mya) 3-1
Bangkok FC (Tha) drew with Thai Son Nam District 8 FC (Vie) 1-1
Thai Son Nam FC (Vie) vs Myanmar Imperial College (MIC) FC (Mya)
Black Steel (Ina) vs Thaiport FC (Tha)
Jaya Kencana Angels (Ina) vs Bangkok FC (Tha)
Khon Kaen FC (Tha) vs Thai Son Nam District 8 FC (Vie)
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