Taiwan have made adjustments to their lineup and tactics to start the Asian Football Confederation Futsal Championship today, with Brazilian head coach Adil Amarante yesterday saying that he is confident of getting the best out of a team motivated by home crowd support.
Amarante has led Taiwan in training and friendlies in Japan last month, with preparations intensifying over the past week at New Taipei City’s Tamkang University.
There were concerns following an injury to experienced captain Chu Chia-wei during training in Japan, but Amarante has made adjustments to the lineup and drilled players on the new formation and tactics.
Photo: Kayleigh Madjar, Taipei Times
Chu was a key player in the original plan and it is unfortunate he will be sidelined, but “we have a group of young players, and the rest of the team will step up to make the difference,” Amarante said at a news conference for the start of the event. “The fact that we are playing at home will be a strong motivation.”
The team has been undergoing a “revolution” since he took the job last year to develop new models and tactics, he said, adding that he is confident of getting good results and making it past the group stage.
Bahrain head coach Adel Marzooq also hopes his team will reach the knockout stage, saying: “Our nation has come a long way since the last finals participation. We will show the development of futsal in Bahrain through our performance in this tournament.”
He conceded that playing Taiwan could be tough due to the support of home fans.
“It is an advantage for them, for sure, but we will do our best to play good games,” Marzooq said.
Vietnam head coach Miguel Rodrigo said his team aims to advance to the next round, but “every team in this group is a strong opponent... This is futsal, anything can happen.”
Malaysian head coach Chiew Chun Yong said: “We will take every game very seriously, and hope for the best outcome.”
The tournament begins with four matches today, with Group A playing at Sinjhuang Gymnasium in New Taipei City and Group B at the University of Taipei’s Tianmu campus gymnasium.
Vietnam are to take on Malaysia at 4:30pm, followed by Taiwan hosting Bahrain at 7pm in Group A, while South Korea are to face Uzbekistan at 4:30pm and Japan entertain Tajikistan at 7pm in Group B.
Tomorrow, China are to face Iraq at 4:30pm and Iran begin their title defense against Myanmar at 7pm in Group C in Tianmu, while Kyrgyzstan battle Lebanon at 4:30pm and Thailand take on Jordan at 7pm in Group D in New Taipei City.
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