AFC FUTSAL CLUB C’SHIP: CHONBURI BLUEWAVE 1-2 AL RAYYAN SC
Isfahan: Thailand’s Chonburi Bluewave were handed a 2-1 defeat by Al Rayyan from Qatar in their final Group C game of the 2015 AFC Futsal Club Championship as the former champions exited the tournament on Sunday.
The result left all three teams level on three points after two games but Iraq’s NAFT Al Wasat won Group C having scored more goals than either Al Rayyan or Chonburi, while the Qataris took second place due to their victory over the 2013 champions.
Al Rayyan needed to win to have any hope of advancing to the last eight and took the lead through Diego Costa before Kritsada Wongkeo struck with a free kick that pulled the 2013 tournament winners level.
But a goal five minutes from time by Flavio secured the points for Al Rayyan and ensured both the Qataris and NAFT Al Wasat from Iraq advanced at the expense of the Thais, who finished as runners-up last year.
“My team deserves to qualify,” said Al Rayyan coach Enrique Martinez. “Every game is difficult but to win against Chonburi makes me very happy with my team. It’s difficult to control the score but we knew we would qualify if we won.
“Our objective was to qualify for the quarter-finals for Qatar, this is the goal. Now we play face-to-face against the Vietnamese. Maybe the level is similar. I’m sure my team will improve because we have confidence.”
The first half finished goalless with Al Rayyan grateful to Iranian goalkeeper Sepehr Mohammadi for a superb performance between the posts that thwarted the Thais, keeping out efforts from Keattiyot Chalaemkhet and Jirwat Sornwichian.
Seven minutes into the second half, the Qataris built on their defensive solidity to take the lead as Diego Costa was played in on goal by skipper Saad Al Shahwani and the Brazilian made no mistake with his finish.
Less than a minute later though Chonburi were level as Kristada struck with a vicious free kick that Mohammadi could do little to stop.
But, with just five minutes remaining and Chonburi looking increasingly capable of picking up the draw they needed, Al Rayyan went back in front when Flavio hit an unstoppable shot from 15 metres out.
“We made some mistakes and we couldn’t finish the moves and we couldn’t score enough goals,” said Chonburi coach Rakphol Sainetngam. “It’s disappointing that we weren’t able to accomplish what we thought we could.
“We made so many mistakes and that’s why the result is the way it is. Also, we didn’t study the regulations enough and we made some mistakes, but we’ll make sure we learn from this and come back next year stronger.”