AFC Futsal: Vietnam eliminated by Uzbekistan

Gabriel Tan Gabriel Tan

Vietnam’s run at the 2018 AFC Futsal Championship came to an end at the Xinzhuang Gymnasium on Thursday as they were beaten 3-1 by Uzbekistan in the quarter-finals.

It was the Uzbeks who opened the scoring after eight minutes Mashrab Adilov raced free down the right before clinically finishing in off the post.

Vietnam did respond well and pushed forward with plenty of intent although the Uzbekistan defence showed no signs of caving under the pressure.

Eight minutes into the second half, Uzbekistan doubled their advantage via Davron Choriev’s exquisite finish from a near-impossible angle.

Immediately, the Vietnamese responded when Phung Truong Luan pounced on a loose ball outside the area and unleashed a rocket of a strike into the back of the net.

But, with Vietnam pushing all five men forward in search of an equaliser, they were eventually caught out right at the death when Ilhomjon Hamroev fired into an unguarded net from deep inside his own half to seal the win for Uzbekistan.

In Thursday evening’s other last-eight tie, Japan defeated Bahrain 2-0 courtesy of goals either side of halftime by Koichi Saito and Kazuya Shimizu.

Friday’s semi-finals will now see defending champions Iran take on Uzbekistan in a rematch of the 2016 final, while the Japanese meet Iraq earlier in the day.