Strong Start For National U20 Futsal Team In AFC Championship
Afghanistan’s U20 National Futsal Team strongly started the AFC Futsal Championship in Iran and defeated Hong Kong 6-1 in their first match. Hong Kong bow out from the tournament.
Afghanistan was in total control in the opening minutes, as they forced Hong Kong goalkeeper Justin Law Ho Yeung into early action, but the East Asian defence held firm.
However, there was only so much Law could have done against the non-stop Afghan attacks as the Central Asians broke the deadlock through Mojtaba Mohammadi’s effort in the sixth minute.
Haid Reze Hossaini beating Hong Kong the keeper from a tight angle but his strike deflected off the post, but with Law out of position and the goalmouth left unguarded, Mohammadi latched onto the rebound and made no mistake with a firm right-footed shot.
Hong Kong were reduced to long range throws, but Afghanistan reacted quickly to deny them.
Afghanistan kept the pressure on, and it almost paid off in the 17th minute when Mohammadi intercepted a back-pass before sending it to Hassan Ali Jafari, but his close-range attempt was denied by the custodian’s boots.
The East Asians gave Afghanistan a scare a minute later, when Leo Chow Ka Lok headed a kick-in into the penalty area, where Wong Wai Kwok was waiting, but the forward failed to keep his shot down as it deflected off the top bar.
Abdul Razaq Momrak’s side showed their set-piece prowess in the 20th minute, when quick one-touch passes led to Sadiq Zaheri tapping in his first goal of the tournament, with Seyed Hosseini Mousavi claiming the assist.
Ali Arab Zada got into the goalscoring action two minutes into the second half, when he sprinted down the left flank before letting loose an unstoppable strike that found the back of the net to make it 3-0.
Hong Kong’s campaign now hung in the balance as they trailed by three goals, which forced them out of their own half and press the issue.
Mousavi, who was Afghanistan’s top scorer in the Central Zone Qualifiers, had a taste of glory with a goal of his own after side-stepping two Hong Kong players outside the box in the 36th minute, before doubling his personal tally a minute later from the same position.
Afghanistan will face Iran in their second match on Sunday night and the match will kick off at 7:30pm Kabul time.