Wednesday, 14 May 2008

Futsalroos World Cup bid tomorrow


The Qantas Futsalroos will face Thailand tomorrow in the quarter finals of the Asian Football Confederation Futsal Championship in Bangkok, where a place at the World Cup will be on the line following Australia's 4-2 loss to Japan in their final Group B match played overnight.

Australia held a 2-0 half time lead against the Japanese with goals to Chris Zeballos and Luke Haydon Wright before succumbing to Asia's number two ranked futsal nation.

The result ensured Japan topped the group with Australia left to face Group A winners and host nation Thailand. The Qantas Futsalroos will go into the match without the services of key players Zeballos and Lachlan Wright who will both be suspended for the crucial encounter.

"In the first half Japan had some chances too but we took ours and they didn't, and in the second-half they took theirs and we didn't," said coach Scott Gilligan after the match.

"We still made some chances and this was a game in the balance throughout. It was unfortunate but that's the way it goes.

“Aussies always have a lot of courage and that was on display in this match with the boys hurting in that second half.

"Certainly our team has grown in stature and I know that while the next game will be tough, we'll be ready."

The four semi finalists at the 16 nation tournament will represent Asia at October's FIFA Futsal World Cup in Brazil.

All matches in the tournament will be played at either the Nimibutr or Hua Mark stadiums in Bangkok, with the final to be held on May 18.
Peter Smith

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