Dubai: Debutantes Kuwait hogged the limelight on the third day of the 2012 AFC Futsal Championship as they topped their group and qualified for the quarter-finals here yesterday.
The Kuwaitis, who had surprised many with a 1-1 draw against 2010 runners-up Uzbekistan on the opening day on Friday, thrashed the much higher-ranked China 5-0 to finish on top of Group D with seven points.
However, none of that happened as Kuwait asserted themselves as the surprise package in this competition with a 5-0 mauling of China, while Uzbekistan powered their way to a 9-1 win over Indonesia to set up a meeting with the defending champions.
Kuwait will now take on Australia, who ended their campaign as Group C runners-up following their huge loss against ten-time champions Iran yesterday.
Another team from the Middle East making it big was Lebanon, who secured a battling 2-1 win over Tajikistan as part of a memorable debut in this competition. The narrow win gave the Lebanese second place in Group B behind leaders Japan who ended with three straight wins.
In Group A, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan and hosts the UAE were all in with a chance of making it to the quarter-finals depending on last night's late-match results. The quarter-finals get under way tomorrow.
- Japan bt Chinese Taipei 6-1
- Uzbekistan bt Indonesia 9-1
- Lebanon bt Tajikistan 2-1
- Kuwait bt China 4-0
- Iran bt Australia 9-0
- Qatar bt South Korea 6-3
Tomorrow's quarter-final line-up:
- (3.30 pm) Thailand vs Lebanon
- (6.30 pm) Japan vs Kyrgyzstan/Turkmenistan/UAE
- (3.30 pm) Iran vs Uzbekistan
- (6.30 pm) Kuwait vs Australia