AFC – BANGKOK, Defending champions Mes Sungun Varseqan cruised into the quarter-finals of the AFC Futsal Club Championship Thailand 2019 after defeating Al Dhafra Sports & Cultural Club 5-0 in a Group D tie on Saturday.
Mes Sungun’s win meant Japan’s Nagoya Oceans, who defeated Kazma SC of Kuwait 3-1 earlier on Saturday, also sealed their quarter-final spot.
Mes Sungun and Oceans will meet on Monday to decide the group winners.
Al Dhafra started aggressively and earned a free-kick just seconds in above the arc but the United Arab Emirates club failed to use the chance.
Mes Sungun kicked into gear and came close to finding the net but Mahdi Javid’s effort was denied by the woodwork.
The Islamic Republic of Iran side opened the scoring in the third minute through Mohammad Shajari’s strike from inside the box after excellent build up play.
Mes Sungun came close to increasing their advantage a minute later but Javid’s effort from inside the box was disallowed due to an infringement on Hamdan Abdulla Alkatheeri.
Al Dhafra had to weather waves of attacks from Mes Sungun and relied on counter-attacks – one of which in the 11th minute nearly drew them level but Fabio Daniel’s free-kick was parried away by goalkeeper Alireza Samimi.
Al Dhafra goalkeeper Hassan Ali Alhantoobi was called into action three minutes later when he saved Javid’s long-range effort and moments later, foiled the Iranian’s attempt from close range off Farhad Fakhim’s free-kick.
The Emiratis, who lost 4-2 to Nagoya Oceans in their opening game, could have scored the equaliser a minute before the break but Bruno Takashi wasted his effort when he placed his header just off the mark.
Mes Sungun increased the intensity of their attacks in the second half and doubled their lead in the 23rd minute after Javid powered his free-kick over the Al Dhafra defence and into the net.
The 2018 MVP would find the target again in open play when Fakhim cut through the Al Dhafra players before laying off for Javid to score from close range.
Mes Sungun made it 4-0 just after the half-hour mark through Alireza Vafaei’s strike from long range with Abolghasem Orouji assisting.
With five minutes left on the clock, Al Dhafra initiated the power play but it was Mes Sungun who went further ahead as Fakhim pounced on a stray pass and scored into an unattended goalmouth.