NEWS
Indonesia - August 01, 2018 13:38Indonesia 2018: groups C and D previewAFC.com reports on clubs challengeCourtesy: AFC.com

Chonburi Bluewave team to beat in Group C

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Yogyakarta: With the AFC Futsal Club Championship Yogyakarta 2018 just three days away. the-AFC.com previews the four teams in Group C.

Chonburi Bluewave (THA)

Appearances: 8

Best finish: Champions - 2013, 2017

Appearing in their eighth consecutive AFC Futsal Club Championship, Chonburi Bluewave of Thailand are one of the most consistent futsal clubs in the continent.

The title holders and two-time champions will be out to make tournament history by becoming the first team to win back-to-back titles.

Chonburi won their first title in 2013 but fell short against Nagoya Oceans in the final the following year in Chengdu. In 2016 they ended their campaign in third place behind Nafit Al Wasat and eventual winners Nagoya Oceans.

They returned to the pinnacle of club futsal last year by overcoming Islamic Republic of Iran’s Giti Pasand Isfahan 3-2 in the final.

Inspired by Thai ace Suphawut Thueanklang and Jirawat Sornwichian, who was instrumental in the Shark’s march to the 2017 final in Ho Chi Minh CIty, Chonburi Bluewave are among the early favourites.

Sornwichian was the tournament top scorer last year, scoring an impressive nine goals. The defender amassed seven goals to clinch the top-scorer award in 2016, and will be one to watch.


Al Sailiya SC (QAT)

Appearance: Debutants

Qatar’s Al Sailiya will be making their debut in the AFC Futsal Club Championship.

The 2017–18 Qatar Futsal League champions, who rely heavily on local talent, pipped Al Rayyan and Al Sadd for the championship to earn their spot in Yogyakarta.

Pressure will be on Al Sailiya to perform as Qatar’s representative have advanced to the knockout stage on six occasions since the tournament's inception in 2010.

Al Rayyan finished fourth in 2011, 2012, 2017 and reached the knockout stage in 2015, while Al Sadd were runners-up in 2010 - Qatar’s best finish in the tournament.


FC Erem (KGZ)

Appearance: 1 - 2017

Best finish: group stage

FC Erem will be making their second appearance in the competition and represent the aspirations of an emerging force in Asia.

FC Erem surprised many when they beat Vietnam powerhouse Thai Son Nam 5-4 in the 2017 edition group stage and followed that up with a 1-0 win over Vic Vipers.

However, it was not enough for the Kyrgyz Republic club who finished level with Thai Son Nam and UAE’s Al Dhafra FC on six points but lost out on the head-to head factor.

Almost half the Kyrgyz Republic squad are FC Erem players and they will need a repeat performance if they are to emerge as the first club from the country to progress beyond the group stage.


Vic Vipers (Australia)

Appearances: 3

Best finish: group stage

Vic Vipers will be making their third consecutive appearance in Asia’s premier club futsal event.

The Vipers’ first foray in the AFC Futsal Club Championship China 2014 ended without them registering a point when they were handed a tough draw alongside hosts Shenzen Nanling, Japanese giants Nagoya Oceans and Lokomotiv from Uzbekistan.

Since then though, the Australian side have grown from strength to strength, battling to an impressive 2-2 draw against eventual champions Nagoya Oceans in the group stage in Thailand two years ago.

In Ho Chi Minh City, Vic Vipers ended their campaign without a win and will be aiming to turn their fortunes around in Yogyakarta for a chance of making it past the group stage for the first time.



Courtesy: AFC.com


All eyes on Mes Sungun Varzaghan in Group D

Monday, July 30, 2018

Yogyakarta: With just two days to go before the AFC Futsal Club Championship kicks off in Yogyakarta, the-AFC.com concludes its previews with a look at the four teams in Group D.


Mes Sungun Varzaghan (IRN)

Appearance: Debutants

Mes Sungun Varzaghan from Islamic Republic of Iran pipped powerhouses Tasisat Daryaei and Giti Pasand Isfahan for a spot in the 2018 AFC Futsal Club Championship.

The 2017–18 Iranian Futsal Super League champions, who have Hossein Tayyebi in their ranks, will be aiming to continue IR Iran’s proud record in the Championship.

Tayyebi stole the show in Chinese Taipei in February when he emerged top scorer with 14 goals as IR Iran cruised to their 12th AFC Futsal Championship title.

Mes Sungun Varzaghan also have several attacking options in Moslem Rostamiha and Mohammad Hossein Derakhshani.

Iranian clubs have a habit of making the last four since 2010 and have produced three different champions - Fooland Mahan (2010), Giti Pasand Isfahan (2012) and Tasisat Daryaei (2015).

The 2016 edition was the only time an Iranian club failed to reach the last four when Nagoya Oceans edged Tasisat Daryaei 3-2 on penalties following a 2-2 draw.



Bank of Beirut (LIB)

Appearances: 3

Best finish: Quarter-finals 2015, 2017

Bank of Beirut will be making their fourth appearance in the Championship after clinching their fourth Lebanon Futsal League title.

Dejan Dedovic’s men claimed their second league title in a row following a perfect season which saw Bank of Beirut claim maximum points.

The Lebanese club will hope to benefit from their league performance and improve their best achievement of reaching the quarter-finals in 2015 and 2017.

In Bangkok 2015, they progressed to the quarter-finals before losing narrowly to finalists Naft Al-Wasat on penalties while in Ho Chi Minh last year, Dedovic’s men were edged 2-0 by Giti Pasand Isfahan.


AGMK FC (UZB)

Appearance: Debutants

Uzbekistan will be represented by newly minted league champions AGMK FC, who will be making their first appearance in the club continental competition.

For the past two editions, FC Almalyk represented the Central Asians. Prior to that, Lokomotiv Tashkent were at the forefront in 2014 and 2015.

Uzbekistan performed admirably at the 2018 AFC Futsal Championship in Chinese Taipei to finish third and it will be interesting to see if AGMK FC can replicate their national team’s achievement here in Yogyakarta.


FC Sipar (TJK)

Appearance: Debutants

FC Sipar, the 2017–18 Tajikistan Futsal League runners-up, come into the competition for the first time.

Tajikistan first made their appearance in the championship last year with Disi Invest who were drawn in a tough group with Nafit Al-Wasat, Al Rayyan and Vamos FC.

Disi Invest ended their campaign without a point and FC Sipar will be aiming for much more in Yogyakarta.



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