Wednesday, 30 May 2012 19:49
AFC - Suphawut Thueanklang scored in the last 30 seconds of extra-time as Thailand overcame the loss of two early goals to defeat ten-time champions Iran 5-4 and book their place in Friday’s AFC Futsal Championship UAE 2012 final.
Asian futsal icon Vahid Shamsaee opened the scoring in the fourth minute before Hossein Tayebi doubled the advantage three minutes later as the threat of a one-sided semi-final loomed.
However, Thailand, runners-up on home soil in 2008 when they lost 4-0 to Iran, hit back almost immediately through Suphawut Thueanklang as the first-half ended 2-1.
Javad Ashgharimoghaddam made it 3-1 with 11 minutes remaining before a Suphawut penalty and a Jirawat Sornwichian effort soon after sent the thrilling semi-final into extra-time.
Apiwat Chaemcharoen gave the Thais a 4-3 lead in extra-time but in an dramatic end to the absorbing contest Shamsaee equalised before Suphawut sealed the win after missing a penalty seconds earlier.
The defending champions took the lead with four minutes played when Mohammad Kesharav threaded a pass to Vahid Shamsaee in the Thailand goal are where the Iran captain spun and expertly slipped the ball past his Thailand counterpart Surapong Tompa.
Surapong was beaten again three minutes later when Kritsada Wongkaeo didn’t get close enough to Hossein Tayebi who fired an angled drive past the Thai keeper for Iran’s second.
Kritsada made amends three minutes later when his corner was swept home Suphawut Thueanklang as the ASEAN champions got themselves back into the contest.
Hamid Ahmadi’s barge into Suphawut on the touchline brought about Iran’s fifth foul and the danger of a ten meter penalty for the Thais should they transgress again in the remaining four minutes of the first period but the Iranians kept their composure and the half ended 2-1 in favour of the ten-time champions.
Iran made it 3-1 in the 30th minute when Javad Ashgharimoghaddam stole possession from Jetsada Chudech to start a three-against-one attack and as Ahmadi attempted to cut the ball across the area it hit off the heels of the backtracking Sarawut Jaipech and fortuitously into the path of Ashgharimoghaddam, who completed the move he started.
But again Iran’s two-goal cushion was short-lived, with Mahdi Javid blocking Konghla Lakka’s net-bound effort with his hand a minute later allowing Suphawut to emphatically convert the resultant penalty.
With eight minutes left to play the spirited Thais drew level when Jirawat Sornwichian slid in at the far post to convert Sarawut’s inch-perfect cross.
The equaliser rattled the Iranians and the frenetic end to the match saw chances for both sides which neither side were able to convert as the semi-final went into extra-time.
Three minutes into the first period Thailand took the lead when Jetsada rolled the ball back to Apiwat Chaemcharoen whose angled drive beat Nazari and turned the tie in the Thais favour.
Iran employed the power play in the second period but the Thais defend valiantly, cheering every successful block, tackle, until with one minute 14 seconds remaining Shamsaee showed all his experience to back-heel in the equaliser.
Jetsada had a chance to seal it with a penalty but his kick was saved by Nazari but the drama hadn’t ended there and in the dying seconds Suphawut drilled the ball home to seal a remarkable victory for the Thais.