Vietnam enters Futsal World Cup
(VNF) - Vietnam beat two-time defending champions Japan at the heartbreaking quarter-finals of the AFC Futsal Championship to earn a ticket to the 2016 FIFA Futsal World Cup for the very first time.
The match was decided in penalties after reaching a 4-4 draw after 50 minutes, including extra time.
Japan took the lead with two goals by Nibuya Kazuhiro and Morioka Kaoru in the 7th and 13th minutes. Tran Van Vu, Neymar Vietnam nick name, 26, narrowed the gap one minute later.
Five minutes into the second half, Watanabe Tomoaki scored a goal after his shot hit a Vietnam defender and eluded “spider man” goalkeeper Nguyen Van Huy, 27.
Vietnam scored in the 35th minute through Danh Phat (No 13 from Thai Son Nam club, fixo position)
Formoso instructed the Vietnamese goalie to join the attacks in the very last two minutes, and the pressure paid off with Van Vu levelling the scores.
In extra time two periods of five minutes each - Japan again took the lead with a goal by Morioka Kaoru. And again Vietnam levelled with a goal by a “super masterpiece” from the left leg of Tran Thai Huy (from Binh Thuan province, 21), leading to the penalty shootout which Vietnam won 2-1.
Players and even Spaniard coach Bruno Garcia Formoso burst into tears of happiness as the victory was even beyond their expectations.
“I was pleased because my students followed the strategy that had been decided for a win. Vietnam has never won a ticket to the World Cup finals, either in futsal or football. So we are very happy with the result,” coach Garcia Formoso, born in 1974, said after the match at the Uzbekistan National Stadium.
“It is a dream come true. A beautiful dream, unbelievable!”, shared ‘”hero” Thai Huy.
Vietnam will next meet Iran on February 19th, who blew past Kyrgyzstan 7-0.
According to FIFA, the top five teams of the on-going AFC Futsal Championship will be Asian representatives for 2016 Futsal World Cup. The list to date includes Vietnam, Iran, Thailand and Uzbekistan, while the losers of the quarter-finals will join play-off matches to decide the last World Cup slot.
Japan must now come out on top of a four-team play-off if they are to claim Asia's fifth and final spot at this year's World Cup on Futsal, which is a 5-man, indoor version of soccer.
The tournament is held every four years, on the even year between two football World Cups. The first party was held in 1989, the year FIFA became the world governing body of futsal. It was held in the Netherlands to commemorate the popularity of the game there. Through the 2008 Cup, only two countries have taken the Futsal World Cup: Brazil winning the first three, followed by Spain winning the next two. In 2008, Brazil became the first host country to win the Championship beating Spain in a penalty shootout. It also won the 2012 competition, defeating Spain.
All events prior to the 2008 Cup saw the participation of 16 teams. The first event featured six from Europe, three from South America, two from Africa, two from Asia, two from North and Central America, and one from Oceania.
The 2012 event included 24 teams, making it the largest group. This edition featured a six group round-robin tournament, with four teams in each group. The top two teams in each group, together with the four highest-ranked third-place finishers, advanced to a sixteen team knockout final series.
Colombia will stage the eighth party from September 10th to October 2nd.
Previous finals (hosts)
2012: Brazil 3-2 (after extra time - AET) Spain (Thailand)
2008: Brazil 2-2, 4-3 pens Spain (Brazil)
2004: Spain 2-1 Italy (Chinese Taipei)
2000: Spain 4-3 Brazil (Guatemala)
1996: Brazil 6-4 Spain (Spain)
1992: Brazil 4-1 United States (Chinese Hong Kong)
1989: Brazil 2-1 the Netherlands (the Netherlands)./.
Complied by VNF