Saturday, June 22, 2019

AFC Futsal Championship U20 Final - Afghanistan vs Japan

What a final! Well played from both sides, Afghanistan and Japan. The match is being played at the Pour Sharifi Indoor Stadium, Tabriz, IR Iran.

For Afghanistan, this is their second appearance in the final of the U20 AFC Futsal Championship. A team played with skills and flamboyance. This team managed to scrape through during the knock-out rounds, beating Thailand 3-2 in the quarters and Indonesia 4-3 in the semis.

For Japan, a team that is well-organised, and will punish teams with the slightest of error. This team had a solid run-through the knock-out rounds beating Iraq 2-0 in the quarters and the host, Iran 8-4 in the semis.

Analysis of the Final

Exploiting Space

Lapses in concentration from Afghanistan have allowed Japan to exploit space during the counter-attack. That eventually led to the first goal from the Japanese despite a healthy possession from the Afghanistan.

Organised Team Unit

The Japanese players indeed have tremendous work-rate, team-work and disciplined in man-marking during off-the-ball. As a result, this frustrates the Afghanistan players in searching for the slightest opening to shoot on goal, which kept the score to 2-1.

I'm fascinated at the way Japanese maintain their level of concentration throughout both periods in the final. At this level, even the slightest mistake will be punished by the opponents.

Finally, both teams produced an entertaining final under the blistering atmosphere. Final score Japan 3-1 Afghanistan.

Another milestone day in the futsal world. I'm also excited to be back on the very blue court, playing a size-4 ball with friends. All the action in my vlog Episode 2:

Part 1:

Part 2:

Part 3:

Part 4: