Frenz United Indonesia (FUI) continued its march into the quarterfinals of the Frenz U18 International Cup 2015 with a 3-0 victory over China’s Guangzhou Evergrande at the Gelora Sriwijaya Stadium in Jakabaring today.
Faced with the uphill task of scoring more than three goals against the Chinese to deny Dutch side Feyenoord FC of a place in the quarterfinals, FUI showed encouraging signs early in the game which concludes Group A preliminary round fixtures.
In an earlier match, England’s Liverpool FC defeated Feyenoord FC 2-0 with goals from Nicholas Callum James (25th) and Welsh international Wilson Harry (70th) to top Group A with nine points. FUI go second in the standings on better goal average despite sharing four equal points with Feyenoord while Guangzhou sits at the bottom with no points.
A team made up of 14 players from Indonesia, seven Malaysians and three Iranians, FUI had three clear chances in the first 10 minutes but Iranian Reza Habel Karimi was guilty of squandering two and Adi Ivan Hafilah one.
But FUI made amends for the setback through Muhammad Amirul’s 26th minute header off a corner-kick by Reza on the right flank and Ivan pounced on a blunder by goalkeeper Mao Gaoling in the 35th minute to extend the lead. Reza nailed the third goal in the 75th minute, weaving his way past a defender before blasting the ball into the net.
In Kuala Lumpur, FC Porto and Gamba Osaka also checked into the quarter-finals in their final Group C matches. Porto defeated Gamba 1-0 while Turkish side Besiktas JK failed to progress beyond despite a commendable 2-1 victory over PVF Vietnam at the Maybank Sports Complex.
A sixth-minute Luis Carlos Machado Mata goal was enough for Porto who held back Gamba for most of the match to secure their place.
“I am very satisfied with the performance of my team although it would have been better if we had finished the group unbeaten, but it is fine,” said Gamba head coach Hironari Umezu. “We had more chances than the opposition, and that is something I want to see more from my players in the quarterfinals who ever we play.”
Meanwhile, heavy rain caused the match between Besiktas and PVF Vietnam to be delayed for 10 minutes, but it did not douse the spirit of the Turkish team.
Devrim Taskaya put them ahead in the 13th minute, and Muhammed Enes Durmus doubled their lead four minutes later. PVF Vietnam grabbed a consolation goal in the 88th minute thanks to Nguyen Vu Tin.
The final result did little to change anything as Besiktas remained in third place with four points. Porto topped Group C with seven points, while Gamba moved to second with six points. PVF Vietnam ended their campaign without a win in three matches.
Fixtures – Wednesday (8 Jan, 2015):
In Palembang – Group B: S.C. Internacional v Kashima Antlers (4pm); Chonburi FC v Valencia CF (8.0, both matches at Gelora Sriwijaya Stadium).
In Kuala Lumpur – Group D: Frenz United Malaysia v AIFF India (8.0pm, Maybank Stadium, Bangi); Estudiantes FC v Tottenham Hotspur (8.0pm, Shah Alam Stadium).