Vietnam enter World Cup playoffs after quarterfinal defeat to Uzbekistan in Futsal Asian Cup

By Quang Dung, Hoang An   April 24, 2024 | 03:06 pm PT
Vietnam enter World Cup playoffs after quarterfinal defeat to Uzbekistan in Futsal Asian Cup
Uzbekistan players (R) celebrate the last-minute goal in their 2-1 victory over Vietnam in the Futsal Asian Cup quarterfinals in Bangkok, Thailand, on April 24, 2024. Photo by VnExpress/Long Thanh
Vietnam lost 1-2 to Uzbekistan in the last minute of the Futsal Asian Cup quarterfinal and will have to seek World Cup qualification through the playoffs.

Vietnam could not create a surprise against the team ranked 16 places above them in the world, despite scoring first in the 17th minute. Both teams squandered many chances, but Uzbekistan did better in the decisive moments when Elbek Tukinov and Juraev Sunatulla scored to send the team to the semifinals, pushing Vietnam down the playoffs to battle for a slot in the Futsal World Cup.

Uzbekistan are the host of the 2024 Futsal World Cup, so even if they had lost the quarterfinal, they would have still automatically qualified for the tournament. But coach Jose Venancio Lopez and the team were determined to beat Vietnam as they aimed to win the Futsal Asian Cup for the first time. The match showed Uzbekistan’s intention as they created more opportunities and could have scored many goals if it were not for the talent of Vietnam goalkeeper Ho Van Y.

Vietnam scored first in the 17th minute, from a set piece. Midfielder Chau Doan Phat took the corner to the near post for Tu Minh Quang, who made a pass inside for Nguyen Thinh Phat to get a tap-in.

Both teams hit the post or the bar three times in this match, including one play where the ball hit the bar before going in, which was Uzbekistan's equalizer. In the 34th minute, also from a corner, Ropiev volleyed for Tulkinov to make a close-range header that hit the bar and went in. This goal helped Uzbekistan play more confidently in the remaining minutes.

Meanwhile, Vietnam seemed to lose stamina in the late second half as they only focused on defense. Even when after conceding, the team did not create many chances. The most relevant play was in the 37th minute when Minh Quang won the ball to face the goalkeeper, but his shot hit the post.

After missing that chance, Vietnam had to pay the price just two minutes later. Again from a corner, Adilov’s cross found Juraev, who took a shot from a tight angle, hitting goalkeeper Van Y's hand and went in. Vietnam complained because they thought Pham Duc Hoa was fouled during the corner, but the referee still recognized the goal.

Uzbekistan entered the Futsal Asian Cup semifinals for the fifth time in a row, while Vietnam could not repeat their best result in 2016. Coach Diego Giustozzi and his team will go into the playoffs, facing Kyrgyzstan on Friday. If they win, they will play Iraq or Afghanistan two days later for the World Cup ticket.

Futsal Asian Cup highlights: Vietnam 1-2 Uzbekistan

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