NSW Thunder end AFC Futsal Club Championship tournament with loss


The three points means the Lebanese side will progress to the semi-finals if Chinese side Wuhan Dilong are unable to beat Port Authority of Thailand or if the Thais fail to win by a large enough goal margin.

Pro’s Cafe started well and Khaled Takaji was instrumental in the opening goal in the seventh minute when he jinked past a defender before stabbing the ball beyond the reach of goalkeeper Roberto Maiorana, allowing player-coach Rabih Abou Chaaya to tap home.

Takaji found the side netting after 13 minutes while at the other end keeper Rabie Kakhi palmed away a long-range effort from Daniel Martinez.

But Pro’s extended their lead with three minutes of the half remaining when Mahmoud Itani side footed the ball into the net.

NSW Thunder responded a minute into the second half when Jack Wetney lashed home from skipper Lachlan Wright’s pass but Pro’s Cafe hit back immediately as Abou Chaaya picked up the ball on the right, shirked the attention of two defenders before lifting a shot above Maiorana.

Takaji’s rasping drive rattled the underside of the crossbar before nestling in the back of the goal soon after before Christopher Zeballos hit the post for NSW Thunder after 30 minutes following a well-worked move.

NSW Thunder pulled a goal back when Mustafa Alpkaya fired home and from then on the Australians were dominating possession but had also pushed their goalkeeper up to the halfway line to reinforce the attack and Pro’s Cafe took advantage when Takaji found the net from his own half.

NSW Thunder again responded as Martinez scored after Dylan Maloney’s effort had come back off the post but Pro’s Cafe quickly restored their three-goal advantage when Takaji charged down the line before flicking a pass with the outside of his boot for Kassem Kawsan to turn home.

Jamie Amendolia’s side rallied late on and reduced the deficit through Dean Lockhart but it was not enough to deny their opponents victory.
-Source AFC Website