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.
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About Debraj Banerjee

Hi, I am Debraj Banerjee from Adra, West Bengal. A keen follower of Indian football and always an optimist that the game will get the recognition it truely deserves. What we ask from you is your support and one day the dream might turn true. Fingers crossed for Indian football. Cheers!

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