Indonesia - August 09, 2018 22:00Semifinals in Yogyakarta Games preview by AFC.comCover Photo: Thai Son Nam players celebrating their quarter final triumph vs Nagoya Oceans (Courtesy: AFC)

Courtesy: The

Semi-final - Preview: Thai Son Nam, Bank of Beirut set for showdown

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Yogyakarta: Bank of Beirut are in Thai Son Nam’s way of landing their first title when the sides meet in the AFC Futsal Club Championship Indonesia 2018 semi-finals on Friday. takes a look at how the teams progressed into the semi-finals.

Thai Son Nam (VIE)

Goals scored: 20

Goals conceded: 10

Top scorer: Nguyen Minh Tri (5 goals)

Thai Son Nam’s route to the Knockout Stage was not a smooth journey following their 4-3 defeat to Nafit Al Wasat in their second group match. But the Vietnam club came back strongly to beat Al Dhafra in their final group game to finish second.

Thai Son Nam are the only ASEAN team left in the competition after ousting three-time champions Nagoya Oceans 3-2 in the quarter-finals, while defending champions Bluewave Chonburi fell to Bank of Beirut 3-2 on penalties following a 7-7 score.

Miguel Rodrigo’s men will want to improve on their third-place finish achieved in 2015 and 2017 and he will be hoping that their morale boosting win over Nagoya on Wednesday can lift the confidence of his charges to another level.

Head coach Rodrigo said: “We will have to be relaxed and calm against Bank of Beirut. It’s not going to be easy, they are a strong team but we will be ready.”

Bank of Beirut (LIB)

Goals scored: 23

Goals conceded: 13

Top scorer: Mahdi Javid (8 goals)

Bank of Beirut are just one win away from reaching the final and their performance has been impressive. The West Asians have bettered their previous best of having reached the quarter-finals in 2015 and 2017.

The Lebanese club dethroned defending champions Bluewave Chonburi in a thrilling encounter on Wednesday, edging them 3-2 on penalties following a 7-7 score. The win was their second over the Thais after their national team beat Thailand 5-2 in the group stages of the 2018 AFC Futsal Championship in Chinese Taipei.

IR Iran's Mahdi Javid has been clinical for the club, scoring eight goals and confidence in the team is high.

Head coach Dejan Dedovic said: "We have beaten the champions and now our focus is on the next match against Thai Son Nam. We will do our best.”

Courtesy: The

Semi-final - Preview: Nafit Al Wasat set to test Mes Sungun Varzaghan

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Yogyakarta: Favourites Mes Sungun Varzaghan will face a menacing Nafit Al Wasat in the semi-finals of the AFC Futsal Club Championship Indonesia 2018 on Friday.

Join as we take a look at how both teams progressed into the semi-final.

Nafit Al Wasat (IRQ)

Goals scored:18

Goals conceded: 9

Top scorer: Farhad Tavakoli Roozbahani (6 goals)

The Iraqi side advanced into the Knockout Stage after finishing top of Group B following wins over Thai Son Nam (4-3) and Korea Republic’s Jeonju MAG (6-1). The Iraq club’s only setback came in their 1-1 draw against United Arab Emitares’ Al Dhafra in their opener.

Nafit's strength is their resilience to fight back when backed into a corner.

Pegged as darkhorses to win the tournament, Nafit almost lifted the title in 2016 but fell just short against Japan’s Nagoya Oceans, losing 6-5 on penalties after the match ended 4-4. In 2015 at Isfahan, Nafit finished fourth losing, 7-4 to Thai Son Nam of Vietnam.

Head coach Head coach Haitham Abbas Bawei said: "The Iran team are such strong favourites, they are a special team and their players are well known in Asia, but we will have a special plan for them on Friday."

Mes Sungun Varzaghan (IRN)

Goals scored: 29

Goals conceded: 7

Top scorer: Hossein Tayebibidgoli (7 goals)

The Central Asians have breezed through the tournament, having scored a staggering 29 goals with a perfect record but Nafit will be a real test for the Islamic Republic of Iran side.

Mes Sungun, though, are genuine contenders for the title as they showed in the 8-3 win over FC EREM in the quarter-finals on Wednesday.

While they may be making their tournament debut, their star players are not as Mes Sungun have one of the most feared attacking force in the form of Hossein Tayebibidgoli and Ali Asghar Hassanzadeh.

Tayebibidgoli was the top scorer at the 2018 AFC Futsal Championship in Chinese Taipei while Hassanzadeh has won numerous MVP titles and is a three-time AFC Futsal Player of the Year.

Both are no strangers to the competition as they have featured in previous editions with Giti Pasand Isfahan and Tasisat Daryaei.

Head coach Hamid Bigham Tabrizi said: "Nafit are a resilient side, with a very good coach. Most of them play for the Iraq national side, we are familiar with their style of play and we are confident of achieving a good result."

Posted by Luca Ranocchiari -->
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