China stun Japan to clinch EAFF futsal crown

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AFC Futsal Qualifying Logo

November 30th, 2009

BEIJING- China shocked Asian futsal powerhouse Japan 5-4 to clinch the East Asian Football Federation (EAFF) Futsal Championship at the Beijing University of Technology on Sunday.

The event also served as qualifiers for the 2010 AFC Futsal Championship to be played in Tashkent, Uzbekistan.

 

Former Asian champions Japan have already qualified for the continental event by finishing third in the last edition of the championship in 2008 and their top-three finish in Beijing helped fourth-placed Korea Republic make the grade.

Seven teams – Japan, Korea Republic, Macau, Chinese Taipei, Hong Kong, Guam and hosts China were divided into two groups to play round-robin games. Top two teams from each group progressed to the knock-out stage.

Watanabe Tomoaki opened the scoring for Japan in the second minute only to see Zhang Xi restore the parity a a minute later. The visitors controlled the rest of the first half with Nibuya Kazuhiro and Fujikawa Tomoki putting Japan 3-1 ahead.

China came back strongly in the second half with Zhang Xi and Li Xin’s goals saw the scores level at 3-3.

Japan’s 37th-minute own goal handed China the lead and Hu Jie made it 5-3 a minute before the end.

Nagashima Shun pulled one goal back for Japan just before the final whistle but this could not prevent China from claiming their first international futsal Championship title.

Chinese Taipei won their thrilling third-fourth place play-off by defeating Korea Republic 7-6.

Earlier in the semi-finals, Japan defeated Korea Republic 6-1 and China downed Chinese Taipei 5-1.

 

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