Qantas Futsalroos fall to Japan

The Qantas Futsalroos have been defeated 3-0 by Japan in the semi-final of the AFC Futsal Championship.

The Qantas Futsalroos have been defeated 3-0 by Japan in the semi-final of the AFC Futsal Championship.

The amateur Aussies gave a sterling account of themselves but in the end Japan-s experience told as the 2006 champions ran out winners courtesy of second-half goals from skipper Kenichiro Kogure, Wataru Kitihara and Rafael Henmi.

Japan-s victory set up a final showdown with Thailand, who overcame an early 2-0 deficit to defeat defending champions Iran 5-4 after extra-time to ensure there will be a name other the Iran on the AFC Futsal Championship for only the second time in the tournament-s history.

Wednesday-s second semi-final lacked the excitement and intensity of the first as Japan, the only other winner of the competition, had the Futsalroos on the back-foot for the majority of a goalless first-half.

Australia-s gritty resistance was finally broken with just under 12 minutes left on the clock when Rafael Henmi arrowed the ball to an unmarked Kenichiro Kogure and the Japan skipper easily converted from close range.

Four minutes later Japan doubled their lead when Wataru Kitihara powered home after being perfectly teed up by Nobuya Osodo-s backheel.

Australia employed the power play in the remaining minutes as the Futsalroos fought to try and get a foothold in the semi-final but the introduction of Tobias Seeto as an extra attacker backfired as Henmi cooly struck the ball into the unguarded net to maintain his record of scoring in every game in Dubai and seal Japan-s 3-0 win.

Qantas Futsalroos head coach Steven Knight said he was proud of his team but that their lack of experience counted against them.

"Our finishing let us down in both halves," Knight said.

"We need to work on our set pieces until we get it perfect. We are amateur players and Japan took their chances.

"I believe the tournament has been a major achievement for us and I am very proud of the boys. They now have the belief that they can play at this level and we will progress from here.

"We will meet Iran for 3rd and 4th and we need to take our chances."