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Chonburi draw in first match of world futsal club tourney

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PHUKET: Sixteen of the world’s finest futsal clubs, including Thailand’s 5-a-side champions, have gathered in the heart of the Middle East since July 10 to contest the Kuwait Mini World Futsal Club Tournament.

Playing in their opening match last Saturday, the winners of the 2012-2013 Thailand Futsal Premier League, Chonburi Blue Wave drew in their first of three scheduled group matches, 2 – 2 to Croatian champs, MNK Alumnus.

MNK Alumnus’ line-up comprises a number of Croatian national team players, Bosnian nationals as well as ordinary Croatian university students, while Chonburi is dominated with Thai national squad players, likewise.

The two clubs’ national squads are also evenly matched: Ranked 15th in the world, Croatia have a slight edge over Thailand by one ranking spot (see related news below).

It was Alumnus who took charge first in Saturday’s thrilling contest, with Hrvoje Penava scoring both of his side’s goals – first on 2 minutes and again on 38 minutes – putting his side ahead each time.

However, Chonburi’s star, Kritsada Wongkaew equalized in the second minute of the 2nd half, while Brazilian sensation Rudimar Venancio scored the match’s second equalizer in the final minute of play.

Rudimar Venancio, 29, nicknamed “Xapa”, is a Brazilian-born futsal player who tends to play in the winger position.

Chonburi’s next opponents in the group stage of the tourney are Spanish premier side, Santiago, with the tough match set for Wednesday, July 17, with a 15.50 Kuwait kickoff (7.50pm in Thailand)

Santiago beat Kuwaiti representatives, Kazma 1-0 in their first match.

Chonburi’s final group match will be against Kazma on Saturday, July 21, with a 5pm kickoff in Kuwait (9pm in Thailand).

Live streaming links via tournament’s website are available (click here).

Other results from the first round of matches:

Group A:
MFC Kardinal Rivne Ukraine 2 – 0 Saudi Arabia Al Nassr
Atletico Huila Colombia 1 – 2 Egypt Misr LelMakasa

Group B:
Pinocho Argentina 2 – 1 Bahrain Al-Muharraq
City’us Tirgu Mureº Romania 6 – 4 France Erdre-Atlantique

Group C
Dabiri Tabriz Iran 4 – 4 Qatar Al-Sadd
Sport Colonial Paraguay 2 – 1 Kuwait Qadsia

Also in Thailand Futsal news, as a result of their third place finish in the fourth Asian Indoor and Martial Arts games held in South Korea last week, Thailand swapped places with Slovenia from 17th into 16th of the unofficial world rankings.

The top five futsal nations are as follows:

  • Brazil
  • Spain
  • Italy
  • Russia
  • Argentina

Keep checking the Phuket Gazette’s sports pages, join our Facebook fan page or follow us on Twitter for the latest local, national and international sporting news.

— Steven Layne

 

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