Monday 12 September 2016, 08:25

Colombian rhythm inspires futsal elite

THE DAY REPLAYED – The rhythm and passion of the Colombian spectators was abundantly evident at the FIFA Futsal World Cup 2016 opening ceremony, and the teams in Groups C and D more than tapped into that feeling of joy on day two of the tournament.

Mozambique’s match with Australia took some time to get going but the players made up for their slow start by treating the fans to a riveting finale. In the group’s second encounter in Bucaramanga’s Coliseo Bicentenario, most observers would have predicted a procession for Brazil against Ukraine, but the European side showed few signs of being overawed and gave their opponents a stern test.

Meanwhile, a first taste of the global futsal stage could hardly have been sweeter for Vietnam, who surprised everyone by beginning their World Cup adventure with victory over Guatemala at the Coliseo el Pueblo in Cali. In Group C’s other game, meanwhile, Italy had to come through a spicy encounter with Paraguay, showing impressive character to eventually take the spoils after twice coming from behind.

ResultsVietnam 4-2 Guatemala Paraguay 2-4 Italy

Mozambique 1-3 Australia Ukraine 1-3 Brazil

Memorable moments*The conductor and his orchestra*Every conductor needs an orchestra and Brazil star Falcao found his among the jubilant crowd in Bucaramanga. The noise level rose considerably as he stood ready to be introduced as a substitute, and it grew even louder when he scored to put Brazil 2-0 in front. Every twinkle-toed touch was greeted with wild pleasure, and such affection is certainly not undeserved, as Falcao’s appearance from the bench made this the fifth FIFA Futsal World Cup at which he has featured, a new competition record.

Same again, Greg! Australia captain Greg Giovenali had intended to make the 2012 competition his last Futsal World Cup. His team-mates persuaded him to reconsider back then, and it turned out to be a pretty good decision, as it was his goal that put Australia 3-0 up against Mozambique and eventually sealed the Aussies’ win. Giovenali’s celebration – dancing, hands on his hips, with an imaginary hula-hoop – was also a nod to the 2012 tournament, when he performed the same celebration in Australia’s last World Cup win against Mexico.

Kiss-cam proves a hit The fans were in celebratory mood in Bucaramanga and showed their appreciation for the entertainment served up both on and off the court. During the half-time break, a ‘kiss-cam’ beamed the faces of spectators onto a big screen, and while some couples in shot were more than happy to kiss their partner, others were rather more shy. That made little difference to the crowd’s reaction, however, as they screamed, cheered and laughed in equal measure.

From dancing to kissing Receiving the ball with his back to goal, Minh Tri Nguyen turned the defender smartly and confidently slotted the ball into the back of the net. Vietnam’s first-ever goal in a FIFA competition was one that will not be forgotten in a hurry. And speaking of kisses, Nguyen got into the spirit at full time by kissing the badge on his shirt to celebrate a famous win for his country.

The stat119 – Ukraine and Brazil favoured something of a shoot-on-sight policy, serving up 119 shots on goal, with 39 on target. Ukraine attempted slightly more than their opponents (66 with 23 on target), but this was ultimately to no avail.

The words“If we want to take something off Brazil and Ukraine, we absolutely have to improve our efficiency in front goal.” Mozambique winger Calo

"What is most important for us is to get as high as we can in the group, first or second – it doesn’t matter. If we make it past the group stage then no team you play against will be easy. Brazil were always the strongest but we’ll go on to prepare for our next game step by step."* Oleksandr Kosenko, Coach Ukraine**

“This win is just as historic as qualifying for the World Cup. What pleases me even more, though, is that we kept our opening-day nerves in check and played at a high level.” Vietnam coach Bruno Garcia

"We could have done it better in the first half, but it was our first match and against our strongest rival. I am happy because we won, but also because we came back after being twice behind." Roberto Menichelli, coach of Italy.​

Next matchday*Monday 12 September*


Group E Solomon Islands-Costa Rica (18:00) Argentina-Kazakhstan (20:00)

Group F Morocco-Azerbaijan (18:00) Iran-Spain (20:00)