Taiwan last night drew 2-2 with Bahrain in their thrilling Asian Football Confederation Futsal Championship opener at the Sinjhuang Gymnasium in New Taipei City, while the other Group A contest saw Malaysia surprise Vietnam with a 2-1 victory.
In Group B, central Asian powerhouse Uzbekistan thrashed South Korea 13-2, while Japan defeated Tajikistan 4-2.
In the evening headline match between Taiwan and Bahrain, both sides probed, but the defenses held firm for a scoreless first half.
It was the visitors who drew first blood in the second half, with Mohamed Abdullah striking home a free-kick for Bahrain to go in front eight minutes after the break.
With boisterous support from home fans, Taiwan picked up the pace. Two minutes later, Huang Tai-hsiang drilled a shot from outside the box to level the match.
The hosts rallied 16 minutes into the half, with fans cheering loudly after Lin Chih-hung scored from a rebound to make it 2-1.
However, with just one minute remaining in the match, Ali Saleh found the equalizer to deny the hosts victory in their opener.
Malaysia sprang a major surprise in their afternoon match when Mohamad Awalludin netted a dramatic winner in the dying seconds to prevail 2-1 over Vietnam.
Vietnam had taken the lead just before halftime, when Trong Luan crossed for Duc Tung, who strutted forward and shot into the net.
In the second half, Awalludin received a pass in the box and slotted it home to level the score. Then, just before the buzzer, he netted his second goal to give Malaysia the upset win.
In the other afternoon match, Japan struck quickly, with Kazuya Shimizu scoring after just five seconds. Kazuhiro Nibuya, Shota Hoshi and Kaoru Morioka added goals for the Blue Samurais to seal the victory.
Fayzali Sardorov and Dilshod Salomov replied for Tajikistan, making it a close affair, but Japan fought off the challenge to seize their first win.
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