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Bangkok: Goalkeeper Yushi Sekiguchi scored from the spot before saving from Saif Abdulmalek as Japan’s Nagoya Oceans claimed the AFC Futsal Club Championship for a record third time with a 6-5 penalty shootout victory over NAFIT Al-Wasat of Iraq after the sides had played out a dramatic 4-4 draw in Saturday’s final at Bangkok Arena.

Tomoki Yoshikawa opened the scoring early on for Nagoya, only for Ghodrat Bahadori to level in the eighth minute. Koichi Saito restored the Japanese side’s advantage but Farhad Tavakoli made things all square at the interval.

NAFIT went in front with eight minutes to play through Hasan Dakheel, before Yoshio Sakai scored late to take the tie to extra-time. Dakheel’s double was then cancelled out by captain Ryuta Hoshi at the death to take the final into a shootout.

After both sides netted their first five penalties, Sekiguchi stepped up to produce a composed finish before saving from Abdulmalek as Nagoya added to their titles in 2011 and 2014.

Costa hails Nagoya after dramatic AFC Futsal Club Championship win


Pedro Costa’s Nagoya started with intent and Yoshikawa drilled just wide in the second minute, before the two-time winners took the lead two minutes later.

Hoshi’s speculative strike from distance was not cleared properly by the NAFIT defence and Yoshikawa was in the right place at the right time to tap home his third goal of the tournament.

The 2015 semi-finalists responded well, though, and Tavakoli struck the post with his toe-poked attempt from outside the area, before Saito’s hurried clearance hit the top of the Nagoya crossbar.

Haitham Abbas’ side did then equalise in the eighth minute when Iranian Bahadori found the bottom corner with a wonderful side-footed effort for his fifth of the campaign.

The Japanese team retook the lead on 13 minutes when Serginho fired across the box for Saito to score from two yards out.

Bahadori had a stunning free-kick from distance was ruled out, but NAFIT then struck back with a contender for goal of the tournament.

Tavakoli’s wonderful turn by the halfway line set him free before a lovely give-and-go with Waleed Khalid ended with the Iranian finding the back of the net.

Nagoya began the second half on the front foot and Serginho’s shot across goal forced goalkeeper Ahmed Duraid to get down well to save with his legs four minutes in, before Hernan Maedonchi missed a golden opportunity by hitting the post from the Brazilian’s cross.

The Japanese team were dominating possession with NAFIT showing little of the attacking threat displayed in the opening period, and Kiyoto Yagi missed another chance from close in at the midway stage of the half.

And Nagoya were made to pay for their missed chances on 32 minutes as Dakheel chose the perfect moment to score his first goal of the competition when he tapped in Tavakoli’s cross.

Now chasing the game, Nagoya’s Ryohei Ando struck the top of the bar with seven minutes left and Costa then went for broke by using Ando as his power-play player with five minutes remaining.

Sakai then levelled with two minutes to play after excellent build-up play involving Yoshikawa and Yagi gave him an easy finish. 

NAFIT went back in front in the 43rd minute when Dakheel’s shot was deflected in off the unfortunate Serginho with Sekiguchi stranded.

Ando again assumed the power-play role and called Duraid into action with two minutes remaining as a frantic finale ensued.

Then with just over a minute to play Nagoya were saved by Hoshi when the captain powered home from distance to send the tie to penalties.

The first 10 penalties were all successful before Sekiguchi placed into the bottom corner and then went back in goal to save from the unfortunate Abdulmalek.