FootballSports

Wins for Saudi, Iran, Vietnam in first Kuwait-hosted Futsal Cup encounter

By Abdellatif Sharaa, Agencies

KUWAIT: Bahrain drew 4-4 with Turkmenistan on Thursday in the second round of group two of the AFC Asian Futsal Cup tournament. Bahrain’s goals were scored by Ahmad Antar (9), Mohammad Abdallah (13), Falah Abbas (26, penalty) and Mohammad Al-Sindi (40). Turkmenistan’s goals were scored by Shaheedov. Bahrain’s coach said his team had control of the match and deserves more than (1) point.

Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia, Iran and Vietnam were triumphant in their respective AFC Asian Futsal Cup opening fixtures on Wednesday as the Kuwait-hosted event got into its second day. Saudi Arabia managed a shock 2-1 victory over 2018 runners-up and three-time title holders, Japan, in their Group D encounter, with Nasser Al-Harthi and Mohsin Faqihi for the Gulf kingdom alongside Japan’s Cribaldi Vinicius each getting on the scoresheet.

Meanwhile, defending champions and the tournament’s most successful side, Iran, kicked off their continental campaign with a wide 5-0 victory over Indonesia in the Group C, two of which were slotted home by Saeid Ahmadabbasi. Vietnam, in Group D, were also at the receiving end of a large marginal 5-1 win over South Korea, as the Southeast Asians topped their respective group.

The tournament continued with four matches scheduled. Group A leaders and hosts Kuwait locked horns with Thailand while Oman and Iraq looked to improve on their earlier defeats. Subsequently, Group B’s respective first and second-placed Central Asian sides, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan, will looked to attain dominance over the other and decide the group’s fate as Turkmenistan and Bahrain hope to achieve their first points of the tournament.

Kuwait replaced Turkmenistan as hosts of the event, originally scheduled for 2020, which was pushed back to this year due to the COVID pandemic. Current 2018 champions Iran have amassed the most silverware in the competition with 12 cups, while only Japan, who were runners-up that same year, trail with three Asian cups.

Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia are looking for their second win when they meet Vietnam on Friday in the second round of the fourth round of the AFC Futsal Asian Cup Kuwait 2022 Championship. There will also be a match between Japan and South Korea. Lebanon will meet Indonesia, while Iran will face Chinese Taipei from the third group.

Matches of the first and second group will be concluded Saturday. Kuwait will play Iraq; Oman and Thailand will face off in the first group; Uzbekistan will battle Bahrain while Tajikistan and Turkmenistan will struggle it out in the second group.

Saudi Arabia had a good start after defeating Japan, which ended them in second place of the previous championship, but their match with Vietnam will not be easy, bearing in mind that they defeated South Korea 5-1. Vietnam’s coach said the match with Saudi Arabia will be different from that of South Korea, adding that he knows the strengths and weaknesses of the opponent.

Japan, meanwhile will seek to compensate their short comings following their sudden loss to Saudi Arabia. They are expected to beat Korea, because any other result may knock them out of the tournament. In the third group, current champions Iran are looking to qualify for the quarter finals when the meet Chinese Taipei, which drew with Lebanon, which will meet Indonesia.

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