Thursday, July 21, 2016

Premier Futsal League: Goa and Kochi advance, Bengaluru and Chennai bow out

Premier Futsal League 2016
Kochi's last second goal send them to semis at the cost of Chennai. Goa too went through the semi-finals, Premier Futsal League
Premier Futsal League
Goa 5's 3-0 Bengaluru 5's
Goa: Michael Silva(10th), Rafael(21st), Vampeta(39th)

Goa 5’s : Cafu, Bebe, Vampeta Rafel and Mohd Ali 
Bengaluru 5’s : Paul Scholes, Elias, Tatu, Maxi and Jonathan Piers

It is the last match day of the group stages as Bengaluru 5’s and Goa 5’s battle it out to join Kolkata 5’s in the Semi-Final from Group B. Goa 5’s played their last game without a marquee player, with Cafu still to arrive in India. Today, will be a different story. The World Cup winning captain who said he has spent a lot of his leisure time playing Futsal with his friends in Brazil to stay fit, will feel at home on the Futsal turf.

It took Cafu just a couple of minutes to take the first shot on goal and took the second shot a minute later. The first quarter also saw 18 year old Bengaluru 5’s Jonathan Piers take Cafu head on which kept the spectators in the game. The deadlock was broken by Goa 5’s, after Michael Silva drove home a deflected save from the Bengaluru 5’s Elias.

The second half became an end to end contest which saw goal-keepers parade of their posts and the score the home team stayed a goal ahead of the Bengaluru 5’s.

The third quarter started for Goa with a bang as the Vampeta rolled the ball in Rafael path who hit the back of the net from close range to double Goa 5’s lead. The Goan defence under Cafu’s guidance looked intimidating. They managed to shut down the Bengaluru attacks way before they could become a concern for their Goalkeeper, Bebe. He did not have to make a single save all through the quarter.

With Bengaluru trailing at the start of the final quarter, they had to put their might behind to find the goal. Their goalkeeper Elias was at the half way line dictating terms and putting pressure of the Goa 5’s. Cafu continued to dominate the proceedings and guiding his team from the back. Vampeta converted a penalty at 39 minutes to seal their berth in the Semi-finals with Kolkata from Group B.

Kochi 5's 3-3 Chennai 5's
Kochi: Moraes(37th), Chaguinha(38th, 40+1st)
Chennai: Camilo(12th), Nannda(18th), Romulo(39th)

Kochi 5’s: Salgado, Cassalone, Changuinha, Moraes and Mohd Ameer
Chennai 5’s: Romulo, Nando, Camilo, Espindola and Faraz Azeez

The thrilling game between Mumbai and Kochi, gave Chennai a lifeline before their game against Kochi. Chennai needed to win by a margin 2 goals against Kochi in order to qualify for the next round. Both teams started out in cautious fashion. The most clear-cut chance of the first quarter fell to Anupam whose close range side-foot effort was saved by the keeper.

Chances were few and far between as players were reduced to shots from distance in the first 10 minutes. The deadlock was finally broken by Chennai in the second quarter. On the breakaway, it was 3 v 1 and Camilo received the ball on the left and the Colombian smashed the ball into the net. But the job was only half done. With 3 minutes to go in the 2nd quarter, Chennai got their second goal. From a corner, Nanda made a near post run and like a true poacher he managed to squeeze it into the net, despite the defender putting all kinds of pressure on him Kochi needed a goal to gain the advantage once again.

Espindola made an incredible save in the second half to prevent Kochi getting a goal back in the game. The keeper dived to his left and tipped a thunderbolt of a drive. At the other end, the Kochi keeper made low crucial save in split second first through a deflection and then from Camilo’s powerful drive. In the 4th quarter Chennai almost made it 3-0 as their new recruit almost caught the Kochi keeper off guard with an attempt from his own half, but it was just wide off the post.

With 3 minutes to play, Kochi finally got their goal through their No 10. Moraes after a wonderful through pass by Chaguinha to make it 2-1. Next from provider, he turned goalscorer with a smart finish from the right to make it 2-2.

Chennai once again got themselves the advantage after Falcao’s powerful drive to put them 3-2 ahead. But with seconds left in the game Chaguinha produced a moment of magic with a brilliant long-range strike that sent his teammates into ecstasy. A dramatic game ended in disappointment for Chennai but for Kochi it’s another step closer to the trophy.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Premier Futsal League: Kolkata qualify for semi-finals

Premier Futsal League 2016
Mumbai beat Kochi in a thriller while Kolkata advanced to semis after
draw against Bengaluru, Premier Futsal League
Premier Futsal League
Kolkata 5's 1-1 Bengaluru 5's
Kolkata: Pula(7th)
Bengaluru: Jonathan

Day 2 of Premier Futsal in Goa saw Bengaluru 5s draw 1-1 with Kolkata 5s at the Pedem Sports Complex. The Bengaluru 5s needed a win to stay in the hunt for a semi-final spot and the result saw Kolkata seal a semi-final spot.

With Neto no longer in the Bengaluru squad, Tatu stepped in and did give Kolkata goalkeeper Cidao a couple of scares in the first quarter. The keeper, with his orthodox style of coming out of the box and even entering the opponent’s half to initiate attacks, was always on his toes when Bengaluru had the ball and made some fine saves.

Kolkata took the lead when they won a penalty after Hernan Crespo’s corner kick struck the hand of Maxi who was stationed in the D. Pula stepped up and fired it to the left and found the back of the net in spite of Elias diving in the right direction.

The shot simply had too much power as it whizzed past him to give Kolkata a 1-0 lead. Pula was dead set on scoring more and ended the first quarter with five shots. Even Cidao got into the act and had shots on goal that Elias palmed away with ease.

Bengaluru had some good build up play but failed to get enough shots on target. Kolkata were also guilty of simply striking the ball from a distance rather than move it around and find space.

Cidao’s forays into Bengaluru’s half almost cost Kolkata a goal when Elias launched a shot from his own area. The back-pedaling Cidao was in no position to make a save but Gabriel was on hand to back him up and head it away.

However, Bengaluru soon found the equaliser through Jonathan Piers. Cidao had parried a shot away but Bengaluru pounced on the rebound. With the Kolkata defence caught sleeping, Jonathan had an open goal to make it 1-1.

Scholes was trying his best to help Bengaluru find another and set up his teammates a few times in the fourth quarter. But no matter what they threw at Kolkata, Cidao was in no mood to concede another.

But his enthusiasm almost cost him when he punched a ball just outside the D. However, Bengaluru’s free-kick routine was disappointing and Kolkata survived and qualified for the semi-final.

Mumbai 5's 6-4 Kochi 5's
Mumbai: Foglia(4th, 20th, 40th), Kevin Ramirez(14th), Chanpreet(30th), Angellot(30th)
Kochi: Moraes(3rd, 18th), Chaguinha(10th, 36th)

Mumbai 5s beat Kochi 5s 6-4 in a thrilling game on Day 2 of Premier Futsal in Goa at the Pedem Sports Complex. With Mumbai already in the semi-finals, all Kochi needed was a point to qualify and ensure Chennai had no chance of finishing in the top two. But the result now gives Falcao’s side hope ahead of the final game.
The Kochi 5s took no time in taking the lead when Michel Salgado’s shot came off the post and the goalkeeper before Deives Moraes stationed at the far post tapped it in. However, Mumbai stormed right back and scored the equaliser within moments of conceding. Foglia’s quick feet and trickery saw him send two defenders the wrong way before a searing shot found the bottom left corner to make it 1-1.

But just before the hooter sounded for the end of a lively first quarter, Moraes retained the ball under pressure from three defenders and took the right moment to flick the ball back to Chaguinha who fired home beat Luis Amado and make it 2-1 to Kochi.

Kevin Ramirez made it 2-2 three minutes into the second quarter when his own throw-in was deflected into his path just outside the D. A powerful shot saw Casalone get his angles wrong as the ball rifled the net. A vociferous celebration followed as just minutes earlier Ramirez was having his ankle strapped up after twisting it in the first quarter.

The goals continued to flow as Devies Moraes got his sixth of the tournament after a sublime cross-field pass from Chaguinha. Ramirez was caught sleeping allowing Moraes to steal past behind him and finish calmly to give Kochi the lead. But just at the stroke of half-time, Foglia got his second of the night with a poacher’s goal. Casalone parried a shot right into his path and he couldn’t recover fast enough to make the save.

Mumbai then struck twice towards the end of the third quarter to take the game away from Kochi. Chanpreet scored his first goal of the tournament when he stationed himself in front of the goal and simply tapped in Foglia’s cross. Moments later, Angellot found himself in a one-on-one situation with the goalkeeper on a counter-attack and beat him with ease to make it 5-3.

Halfway through the final quarter, Chaguinha and Moraes carved open Mumbai’s defence with a neat one-two and Chaguinha grabbed his second of the night with substitute goalkeeper Federico Perez unable to get in the way of his effort. Though he made some fine saves, he lost his bearings and conceded a handball which saw Amado come back on for the final play.

Moraes stepped up to take the free-kick without a wall but Amado made a superb block and Mumbai soon countered to make it 6-4 through Manikkoth.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Premier Futsal League: Mumbai enter semis, Kolkata held by Goa

Ryan Giggs - Mumbai 5's - Premier Futsal League
Mumbai sealed their semis berth defeating Chennai 4-3 on Tuesday in the Premier Futsal League
Premier Futsal League
Goa 5's 2-2 Kolkata 5's
Goa: Vampeta(24th, 27th)
Kolkata: Pula(5th), Carioca(9th)

Goa 5’s: Vampeta, Georgivsky,Rafael, Mohd Ali and Bebe
Kolkata 5’s: Hernan Crespo, Carioca, Pula, Akshay Nair and Cidao

The Goa Leg of Premier Futsal kick-started with the home team taking taking on Kolkata 5’s without their marquee player, Ronaldinho having to return home.

However, Goa came back from two goals down to earn a 2-2 draw against Kolkata as Brazilian Futsaller Vampeta scored both of Goa’s goals in a man of the match performance. Ronaldinho’s replacement Cafu was yet to arrive in India and they played the game against Kolkata without a marquee player. The Kolkata 5’s made the most of the home team short of their charismatic leader as Hernan Crespo came close to scoring within the first 2 minutes. However, Pula did not take too long to find the back of the net at 4 minutes. Akshay had a brilliant opportunity to double their lead, but he missed an open goal from 2 yards out.

Before the end of the first quarter, Kolkata finally doubled their lead. Carioca received the ball with his back to goal but an exquisite first touch helped him escape his marker and then he embarrassed the keeper by finding the gap between his legs to make it 2-0.

Kolkata started to play some real exhibition stuff as the continued to dominate Goa. Faizal was the next player to miss a great opportunity to extend the lead. After some neat passing, Faizal skewed his shot wide from a cutback. Goa slowly started to grow into the game as Kolkata started to sit back Goa kept knocking at the door as Cidao kept making save after save, but something had to give and in the 3rd quarter, it finally did.

Kolkata 5’s Marquee Player and Captain, Hernan Crespo says, “I preferred to rest and come to the Semi-finals in a better shape. We already have 5 points and even if we secure a point in the next game will take us through to the next rounds. I have faith in the team and it is important to make it right till the very end in such important tournaments.”

On the break, Vampeta had all kinds of space and he got it past the Kolkata goalkeeper with an acute finish into the far corner to make it 2-1. With 3 minutes to go in the 3rd quarter, it was 2-2. Once again, Kolkata were caught on the counter as Vampeta raced down the other end skipped past the goalkeeper who came off his line and slotted it calmly into an empty net.

Speaking to the media after the match, Vampeta said, “Cafu is a World Cup winning captain, he will bring a lot of experience with him and the team will benefit from it. We conceded two early goals and to come from there is just like win for us. Ronaldinho brings a lot of joy and energy to the team, we will surely miss him a lot. We as a team are hoping we can create some magic like he did in Chennai.”

But that’s how the game ended as neither team could find that decisive goal to win it. An exciting start to the Goa leg of the Premier Futsal League.

Mumbai 5's 4-3 Chennai 5's
Mumbai: Fogila(2 Goals), Angellot, Ryan Giggs
Chennai: Sean Garnier, Romulo, Camilo

Mumbai edged Chennai 4-3 to become the first team to book their place in the semi-finals of Premier Futsal League.

Mumbai got the opening goal of the game in controversial circumstances. Sean Garnier of Chennai had possession but Foglia muscled him off the ball which the freestyler thought he would get a foul for. But, play went on and Foglia chipped the ball wonderfully over the keeper to put his team into the lead.

Their joy was cut short, as in a matter of minutes, Chennai were level. Nanda put in a powerful cross that bypassed every player in a blue shirt and Sean Garnier at the far post reacted quickly to chest the ball into the net from close range.

Chennai had the momentum and took the lead in the 2nd quarter. Angellot tried to do a little too much with the ball and lost possession to Romulo, whose powerful drive beat the keeper, even ripping a hole through net. The Colombian though made up for his earlier error by getting his team back on level terms. A well-worked move ended up with Foglia rolling the ball for Angellot, who blasted the ball into the back of the net after the keeper was left in no man's land. Camilo once again put Chennai ahead as his top poke effort deflected off Angellot and went through the keeper's legs. The goal the crowd wanted came as Ryan Giggs interchanged wonderfully with Angellot and the United legend tapped home to make it 3-3. There was a brilliant piece of control and skill from Angellot in the build-up to that move.

In the 4th quarter, Mumbai took the lead as Foglia scored his second goal of the game. Frenchman Ramirez set up the Italian and he slipped it into the net through the keeper's legs. The referee blew the whistle as Mumbai qualified for the semis after winning 2 of their 3 games in the group.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Manipur oust Haryana to win Junior National Championship For Girls

Junior National Football Championship for Girls 2016-17 Finals
Manipur beat Haryana to win Junior National Football Championship for Girls 2016-17
Junior National Football Championship for Girls 2016-17 Finals
Manipur 4-1 Haryana
Manipur: Ratanbala Devi(1st, 60th), Hemolata Devi(67th,90th)
Haryana: Renu(17th)

Manipur defeated Haryana to win the Junior National Football Championship for Girls 2016-17. In the final Manipur proved too strong a challenge for Haryana as the scoreline read 4-1 at full time. Ratanbala Devi and Hemolata Devi both scoring a brace each for the champions while Renu score the only goal for Haryana.

Premier Futsal League: Ronaldinho stars as Goa thrash Bengaluru

Premier Futsal League Results
Ronaldinho scored five as Goa thrashed Bengaluru in Premier Futsal League
Premier Futsal League

Ronaldinho on song as Goa thrash Bengaluru

Goa 5's 7-2 Bengaluru 5's
Goa: Ronaldinho(6th, 18th, 19th, 32nd, 40th), Marshal(33rd), Raphael(39th)
Bengaluru: Maxi(10th), Jonathan(15th)

Goa 5’s :: Mohd Ali (Indian), Rafael, Vampeta, Ronaldinho and Bebe
Bangalore 5’s :: Elias, Neto, Jonathan (Indian), Scholes and Maxi

Goa 5s ran down Bengaluru 5’s 7-2 as Ronaldinho set alight the Jawaharla Nehru Indoor Stadium in Chennai with a virtuoso five goal performance, the best of Premier Futsal so far.

Ronaldinho and Paul Scholes shared the same pitch after a long 8 years, with the duo last facing off in 2008. The Brazilian had disappointed in the first game, struggling to keep pace, but looked much better right from the off, setting up teammate Rafael as he struck the post in the opening minute, as Goa started the brighter side.

The Barcelona legend had the crowd in rapt cheers with a brilliant goal in the 6th minute, as a corner from the left was laid off to him in the box, but he exquisitely side-stepped the diving goalkeeper and slotted into an empty net to give Goa the lead. Bengaluru came back right at the end of the first quarter, as Maximiliano scored a brilliant solo goal, slotting from a narrow angle after a quick stepover past the keeper.

The second quarter started with Bengaluru taking the lead through Jonathan Piers, who collected a pass and slammed it home with his left foot. Their joy was short-lived as Ronaldinho decided this was the moment to remind everyone why he is joga bonito personified. First, he scored with an eye-of-the needle shot when surrounded by two defenders and a diving keeper. The Brazilian maestro then completed his hat-trick and gave Goa a comeback lead with a first time reflex shot. Rafael set Ronaldinho up with an accurate pass sending the Chennai crowd wild, with the score at the end of the second quarter, 3-2 in Goa’s favour.

Paul Scholes struggled to influence the game in the third quarter, but his counterpart for Goa continued toying with the Bengaluru defence, first with a series of keepy-ups and then a mazing dribbling run. Scholes responded with a calm nutmeg of his own, before rolling back the years and setting up Jonathan with a lofted cross-field ball, but the Bengaluru forward’s shot at an open goal was weak, and cleared off the line.

While speaking to the media before the match, Goa 5’s Ronaldinho said, “. It's amazing to know that some people in India are thinking of it. When I learned that Figo, Salgado and Scholes were all going to be involved in Premier Futsal, it was just reaffirming my decision to be a part of this ‘first’ in Indian history. There is potential in India and there is a lot of following of European football here. This could be a start of something really special and I am happy to be a part of Premier Futsal with so many stalwarts who have played the game.”

If there was any doubt about his quality left, Ronaldinho obliterated it with a cheeky fourth  in the 32nd minute, lofting the ball over a defender and into the net with Bengaluru keeper Elias stranded upfield. Yet another Indian player made the scoresheet with Marshall making it 5-2 moments later tapping the ball from a yard out after Vampeta’s shot.

Vampeta repeated the trick at the end, seeing up Rafael to volley home the sixth for Goa, with Ronaldinho also having the time to miss a late penalty, before slotting home his fifth of the night from a counter. The third quarter saw a lot of end to end play with both marquee players showing their experience in keeping the ball and finding those

The Chennai crowd cheered for the Brazilian legend right until the final whistle. The deafening Ronaldinho cheers were well received by the magician as he played along with the crowds and also shook a leg for them today.

Chennai and Kochi play out a draw in a thrilling eight goal encounter split 4-4

Chennai 5's 4-4 Kochi 5's
Chennai: Falcao(10th, 12th), Cirilo(18th), Camilo(27th)
Kochi: Moraes(7th, 32nd), Chaguinha(17th, 36th)

Chennai 5’s :: Espindola, Romulo, Nannda, Cirilo and Falcao
Kochi 5’s :: Casalone, Chaguinha, Mohd Ameer and Salgado

The Jawaharlal Nehru Indoor Stadium had almost 7000 people to cheer their home team in the last game of the inaugural editions Chennai leg. The classic battle of attack vs defence was on cards as Falcao’s Chennai 5’s took on Michel Salgado’s Kochi 5’s.

The home team threw away an early two-goal lead with Kochi 5s mounting a late comeback. Falcao inspired his Chennai side with an early brace as Chennai racked up a 4-2 lead, but his absence was felt as Moraes and Chaguinha inspired Kochi to comeback to 4-4, with Michel Salgado showing why his experience and aggression in leading the Kochi team.

With Chennai coming off the back off a loss to Mumbai in the opening game, the ‘home’ side laid all their hopes at the feet of Falcao, with Michel Salgado standing like a wall for the Kochi 5s. Chennai started off brightly, with Romulo, Falcao and Cirilo going close, with the latter drawing a great reaction save from Kochi keeper Casalone early on.

Those in attendance today witnessed the typical Salgado performance against Chennai. He was seen in all his elements as he was seen arranging his troupes from the back and making those menacing runs which ruffled the Chennai defense several times. Every feisty move from Michel was applauded by a group of Real Madrid fans, who were the nosiest in the last game Premier Futsal’s Chennai leg.

Speaking at the post match conference, Kochi 5’s Coach,  Sergio said, “Player to Player was always going to be key against the fast moving Chennai team. I think our defense did well for most parts of the game, before Michel had to come off to nurse a niggle. With 4 points of 2 games, we will put in all our might when we play in Goa.

Deivis Moraes opened the scoring in the 7th minute with a stunning shot, cutting inside from the left and absolutely thundering a shot into the top corner to give Kochi the lead and quell the partisan Chennai crowd. Falcao then decided this was the time to announce himself in the tournament, as he equalized for Chennai with a calm finish after he ended a swift counter to make in 1-1 going into the break.

The home crowd were cheering minutes into the second quarter, as Falcao gave Chennai the lead with an exquisite piece of skill, controlling a pass, turning and shooting into the top corner in a single motion. However, he took the showboating to a needless level later, as Chaguinha pounced on him dallying on the ball in his own half and scored past Espindola to equalize for Kochi.

Falcao made up for his mistake soon after, setting up Cirilo for a tap in with a cross from the right as Chennai took a 3-2 lead going into the third quarter. Falcao went off injured before the start of the third quarter, with Chennai looking hampered as Kochi came back into the game. However, it was Casalone who was the hero for Kochi as he made a number of saves as the third quarter progressed, with freestyler Sean Garnier denied thrice, while delighting the crowd with a few pieces of superb skills.

Speaking about Falcao’s injury that forced him off the pitch early, Romulo said, “It is just a niggle and we are confident that Falcao will shake it off soon and should be ready for the next game in Goa. He is an inspirational captain and the whole Futsal world looks up to him and Premier Futsal and Chennai 5’s are no different. He was clinical today and it was unfortunate he could not complete the game.”

Camilo made the game slightly safe in the 28th minute, although Kochi were incensed as Salgado was fouled but Camilo charged upfield, stepovers galore, before slotting the ball home with his right foot, making it 4-2 going into the final quarter.

Chennai were regretting their fouling ways immediately in the fourth quarter, conceding a penalty for their 6th foul of the night. Moraes stepped up and slammed the ball to Espindola’s left bottom corner, leaving the Chennai keeper no chance and bringing Kochi back into the game in the 32nd minute. Chaguinha silenced the Chennai crowd with an equalizer with 5 minutes to go, countering upfield before thundering a rocket of a shot into the top near post, a brilliant solo goal, thus earning the point that looked so unlikely early on.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Premier Futsal League: Kolkata held by Bengaluru, winning start for Kochi

Premier Futsal League
A winning start for Kochi over Mumbai in Premier Futsal League
Premier Futsal League Results

Kolkata 5's 1-1 Bengaluru 5's
Kolkata: Pula(17th)
Bengaluru: Jonathan(7th)

Kolkata and Bengaluru play out a stalemate

Kolkata 5s and Bengaluru 5s played out the first ever draw in Premier Futsal with the match ending 1-1 at the Jawaharlal Nehru indoor stadium in Chennai on Saturday night.

Bengaluru’s Paul Scholes deployed himself at the centre of the action, as he did at Manchester United, and he was finding his players with ease. His composure on the ball and keen eye to spot free players saw Neto almost open the scoring with his shot going wide. But Scholes got his assist as he found Jonathan and his shot elicited a poor save as Cidao bundled the ball into the net to give Bengaluru the lead in the first quarter.

It seems almost incredulous to suggest that goalkeepers can create chances but it was Kolkata 5s goalkeeper Cidao who advanced into Bengaluru’s half to set up a move that almost saw Crespo score before a deflection saw it go wide.

The second quarter saw Bengaluru patiently circulating the ball looking for openings with Kolkata initially struggling to win the ball back. Bengaluru’s Nabil was a busy man moving around the pitch to make himself available for passes and finding teammates until Scholes was reintroduced following a substitution. However, Kolkata eventually found their rhythm and found the equaliser with three minutes to go.

Akshay Nair dispossessed Bengaluru and tried to advance before he was brought down. But Pula, stationed on the right flank, pounced on the loose ball and took his shot to give Kolkata the equaliser before half-time.

The third quarter saw Cidao try his luck again by advancing into Bengaluru’s half. With the ball at his feet near the half-line, he saw vacant space in midfield and was invited to take a shot that was blocked by Elias. He had a chance on the rebound as well which went just wide. He wasn’t done yet as he had to run back to get into position to head away a shot from deep in Bengaluru’s half to round off an eventful 10 seconds.

Not to be outdone by Cidao, even Bengaluru goalkeeper Elias tried his luck with a piledriver of a shot. Cidao was beaten but the ball whistled past the post. Paul Scholes also got into the act late in the game and faked a shot that saw Gabriel slide right past him before the United legend’s shot was blocked.

Kolkata soon got into foul trouble and then Mohammed Islam got an orange card for a foul as Bengaluru countered. Bengaluru opted to take a free-kick without a wall instead of a penalty (which is allowed in Futsal) but Cidao was up to the task and palmed the shot away to end the game at 1-1.

Kochi 5's 4-1 Mumbai 5's
Mumbai: Angellot(29th)
Kochi: Moraes(25th, 31st), Gekabert(32nd), Salgado(38th)

Late blitz secures victory for Kochi over Mumbai

Kochi 5s led by Michel Salgado beat Mumbai 5s 4-1 in the first game at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Chennai on Saturday. Mumbai had taken the lead before a fourth quarter comeback saw Kochi storm to an unassailable lead.

Fans turned out in numbers with the majority of them in Manchester United kits to show their support for Red Devils legend Ryan Giggs of the Mumbai 5s. Adriano Foglia has scored twice and the Brazil-born Italian donned the top goalscorer’s armband before the game.

Mumbai almost took the lead in the first quarter when Giggs’ shot went through Casalone’s legs only for the goalkeeper to recover and dive backward to palm the ball away before it trickled over the line. Salgado also almost got into the act with a shot from the left that went just wide of the far post. Although a right-back in his playing days, Salgado was very much on the attack and sometimes the furthest man forward.

But that wasn’t to say that he was averse to defending. With Mumbai piling on the pressure, Salgado made a number of crucial blocks from open play and corners to frustrate Mumbai. Kochi opted to keep possession and build from the back to create space while Mumbai only looked to counter on winning the ball back.

The second quarter was very much end-to-end with Mumbai keeping Casalone busy in goal who denied Foglia and Angellot. On the other hand, Kochi were wasteful when they had opportunities to counter and the score at half-time read 0-0.

The third quarter saw Mumbai get into foul trouble with Giggs and Salgado coming together a couple of times. In spite of the Welshman’s protests, the fifth foul saw Salgado tripped and Deives Moraes, with a run up from the half-line, put away the penalty to give Kochi the lead. However, Giggs’ trickery paid off and his sublime back-heel pass created a sweeping move with four players involved with Foglia eventually setting up Angellot to tap into an empty net.

Kochi then ripped Mumbai apart in the fourth quarter when first Deives Moraes doubled his tally as Kochi finally beat Casalone in open play followed by a goal from Gekabert in almost similar fashion from the right. Michel Salgado finally got his goal after nicking the ball from Giggs and beating a backtracking Casalone to simply tap it in with nobody to stop him.

Points Table

Pool A

Mumbai 5’s
Chennai 5’s
Kochi 5’s
+ 3

Pool B
Kolkata 5’s
Goa 5’s
Bengaluru 5’s

Friday, July 15, 2016

Premier Futsal League: Victories for Kolkata and Mumbai in the opening day

Premier Futsal League Results
Kolkata and Mumbai won their opening matches in Premier Futsal League opening day
Fogila brace see's off Chennai challenge
Premier Futsal League

Mumbai 5's 4-2 Chennai 5's
Mumbai: Foglia(10th, 29th), Angellot(12th), Ramirez(34th)
Chennai: Cirillo(35th), Falcao(36th)

Mumbai overpowered Chennai in the first ever Premier Futsal game in Chennai. Giggs played a starring role as they put together a solid defense and gave Chennai a master-class on Counter-attack.

Ryan Giggs took the charge against the Pele of Futsal and came out on top to claim the first game of Premier Futsal. Giggs has been with Manchester United for almost 3 decades playing football, but today was his debut on the Futsal pitch. Mumbai 5’s strike force had the firepower of the Ryan Giggs and Foglia who won the Best Futsal Player award in 2003.

Mumbai opened the scoring after they won a penalty. Sirilo’s handball allowed Foglia to step up and score a calm penalty sending the keeper the wrong way. In the first quarter, Chennai had the bulk of the chances but couldn’t back their flair play with accurate finishing.

The second quarter started badly for Chennai going two goals down quickly. Mumbai robbed Chennai of possession and Angellot showed brilliant piece of ball control to leave the keeper on the floor and blasted the ball into open net to claim Mumbai 5’s third goal.

Chennai kept possession but Mumbai’s solid defence ensured they remained a step ahead in the second quarter. Mumbai were employing the classic counter tactic breaking every time Chennai lost the ball. Falcao continued to display his full array of tricks but Mumbai kept hold of their 2-0 lead at half time.

It takes a minute for the course of the game to change in Futsal, Chennai 5’s could not be ruled out of it at any stage. Chennai almost got a goal back as Sirilo’s shot stung the bar and went out of play.

Ryan Giggs was seen in all his elements by the third quarter has he produced the first nutmeg of Premier Futsal and showcased his class with a few no-look passes. The United legend set up Foglia for his second and Mumbai’s 3rd on the night. He might have been out of play for a while, but he sure didn’t look out of touch.

Mumbai 5’s kept going up gears as the game went on. Ramirez made it four with a wonderful side foot finish into the top corner. Chennai 5’s finally opened their account with Sirilo toe poking one in the back of the net, taking advantage of a miscommunication in Mumbai’s defence. Falcao pulled the second goal back as he thrashed one into the net after going past a couple of defenders.

At the end of the of the final whistle, Mumbai took home the first three points of Premier Futsal blowing away Falcao’s Chennai 5’s 4 – 2.

Kolkata register 4-2 victory over Goa
Premier Futsal League
Kolkata 5's 4-2 Goa 5's
Kolkata: Pula(5th), Mohammed Islam(6th), Crespo(24th), Mohammad Ahtesham Ali(Own Goal - 34th)
Goa: Raphel(21st), Vampeta(29th)

Kolkata defeated Goa 4 - 2 as Hernan Crespo led from the front. In an engaging encounter, Kolkata went past Ronaldinho’s Goa 5’s.

It could have been a dream start for Ronaldinho as he almost produced the first goal of the game with a typical no-look pass to Rafael that was saved by Cidao.

Goa suddenly found themselves two goals down in a matter of minutes. Pula was the first one to find the back of the net with his head after a deflected cross. Then, we had the first Indian goalscorer of the tournament as Goa found themselves in a 3 on 1 situation and Crespo setup Mohammed Islam for a simple tap in.

Ronaldinho tried to spark some life into the Goan attack in the 2nd quarter. He tested Cidao with a neat drag-back flick but he was too close to the keeper with all his angles closed down and his back to goal.

Just after the restart, Goa got themselves back in the game. Rafael’s toe poke deflected off the goalkeeper in his attempt to save it and landed in the back of the net. The chance was created after a great pick out by Georgievsky. Goa found themselves two goals behind yet again as Carioca’s freekick fooled the defence with a short pass to Crespo and his striker's instinct kicked in finishing with aplomb to make it 3-1.

Goa hadn't given up on the game yet as Vampeta made it 3-2 before the end of the 3rd quarter. A slack pass from Pula deflected of Rafael into the path of the Brazil-born Italian who put it into an open goal. Kolkata restored their two-goal cushion in the 4th quarter as luck was in their favor. As they went on the attack, a shot at goal ricocheted off Mohammed Ahtesham Ali and the ball rolled into the open net with the keeper in no-mans land.

Ronaldinho had a couple of chances after that to score but Kolkata held on for a 4-2 win.
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