Malaysia snatched the final spot in the semi-finals of the AFF Futsal Championship after defeating Singapore 5-0 at the Bangkok Arena this evening.
They will join favourites Thailand, Australia and Vietnam in the last four.
Meanwhile, Thailand recorded a smashing 15-2 win – with four goals coming from star striker Jetsada Chudech – over Timor Lestetonight in their last group match.
For finishing amongst the top four, the Malaysians will also qualify for the Asian Futsal Championship in Uzbekistan next year. AFC decided to use the AFF Futsal as the qualifying competition for the Asian competition this year.
In today’s game, Malaysia were up against a hard-working Singapore team which did their best to put the brakes on their rivals. At the end of the first half, Malaysia only had one goal from Muhammad Akmal Yazadh Amri which was netted in the ninth minute.
After the break though, the Malaysians upped the pace and piled on more pressure on the defence and managed to add on four more goals. The goals came from Aizad Daniel (22nd), Saiful Aula Ahmad (38th) and Ahmad Fawzul Hadzir Mohamad (40th). Singapore’s Yi Long netted an own goal in the 38th minute.
In the second match, Thailand grabbed a 5-2 lead at the break and went on to win the last match of the group stage 15-2. The victory confirms Thailand’s place as the group winner which means they will face Vietnam in the semis.
The Thais, starting without a few key players, surged ahead in the fourth minute through Sorasak Phoonjungreed. Jetsada Chudech struck twice within a minute to put the score at 3-0 after only eight minutes. Suphawut Thueanklang and Wanlop blasted the two remaining goals in the first half in the 18th and 20th minutes.
Timor Leste delighted with some fancy moves and surprised the hosts with two goals in the first half from Machel Carvalho (15th) and Jose Lopes (19th).
Thailand smashed in a stunning 10 more goals in the second half. The players who made the scorer’s sheet were Warut Wongsama (22nd, 33rd), Piyanat Nusaya (27th), Suphawut (31st, 34th, 35th), Jetsada (37th, 40th), Nattavut Madyalan (37th) and Wanlop (40th)
In the afternoon session earlier today, Australia laboured past a spirited Vietnam side 6-5 to top Group B and avoid a premature clash with hot favourites Thailand in the semi-finals. Today’s match however turned out to be a bruising affair as three players – two Aussies including their skipper and the Vietnamese keeper – were red carded.
Vietnam, due to their superior goal difference, only needed to draw today to top the group. They had two penalties late in the game but were unable to convert them.
As the players moved to the centre of the court for the ceremonial finish to shake hands with each other and match officials, Australian skipper Gionevali apparently uttered some vulgarities and was sacked.
In an earlier Group B match this morning, Myanmar defeated Laos 12-4 to finish third behind Vietnam and Australia.
Group B: Myanmar bt Laos 12-4, Australia bt Vietnam 6-5
Group A: Malaysia bt Singapore 5-0, Thailand bt Timor Leste 15-2
Oct 14 (Semi-finals)
Thailand vs Vietnam
Australia vs Malaysia
Oct 16: Final
STANDINGS AT THE END OF THE GROUP STAGE
Note: In case of same points, the head-to-head battle between the two teams will be used
Team in BOLD qualify for the semi-finals