|Thai Son Nam midfielder Nguyen Manh Dung rushes to restart play after narrowing the score to 1-2 during the match against Nagoya Oceans in the Asian Football Confederation Futsal Club Championship in Thailand. (Photo: the-afc.com)
The last year’s finalists from Vietnam were defeated 1-3 by three-time winner Nagoya Oceans of Japan in the semi-finals at Bangkok Arena.
It was a rematch and a chance for redemption after the Japanese club lost 2-3 in the quarter-finals last year.
Ton That Phi nearly open the scoring for the Vietnamese side a minute later but his shot on target from inside the area was denied by Nagoya Oceans goalkeeper Yushi Sekiguchi.
Pepita, who had scored five goals in the tournament already, made no mistake when another chance fell his way in the fifth minute.
The Brazilian received a pass from Yoshikawa in a fast-paced counterattack and his close-range finish was unstoppable.
It was 2-0 for Nagoya Oceans in the 16th minute after Pepita netted his seventh goal with finish to the far post.
The Japanese side played defensive to start the second half, but Nguyen Manh Dung still managed to narrow the gap in the 26th minute. He pounced on the rebound after Sekiguchi blocked a cross by Phi effort and slotted it home.
Thai Son Nam then suffered a big blow when Pham Duc Hoa received his second yellow card and was sent off in the 33rd minute.
Playing with only five men, Thai Son Nam failed to maintain their momentum. They conceded the third when Shota Hoshi's shot from the left side hit defender Tran Van Vu and deflected into the net a minute after Hoa’s sending off.
Thai Son Nam will play AGMK from Uzbekistan in the third-place playoff for the bronze before Nagoya Oceans meet Mes Sungun of Iran in the final on August 17.