Thailand move into AFC Futsal semi-finals (May 16, 2008)



TOR CHITTINAND


Thailand beat Australia 5-2 yesterday to reach the semi-finals of the AFC Futsal (five-a-side) Championship and qualify for the World Championship for the third time in a row.

China, Japan and Iran also secured berths for the World Championship in Brazil later this year following their wins in the quarter-finals yesterday.

Two goals from Panomkorn Saisorn and one apiece from Ekapong Suratsawang, Ekaphan Suratsawang and Panuwat Janta sealed Thailand's win over Australia. Thailand coach Jose Maria Mendez said he was happy that he steered the Thais to the World Championship after only two months with the team.

The Spaniard warned Thailand against complacency against China in the semi-finals although the Chinese are considered dark horses.

In the other quarter-finals yesterday, China upset Uzbekistan 4-1, Japan whitewashed Kyrgyztan 4-0 and Iran thrashed Lebanon 9-1.

In today's semi-finals which start at 3pm at Nimibutr Gymnasium, Thailand take on China and Japan meet Iran.