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Joy and pain for futsal first-timers


(FIFA.com) Saturday 3 November 2012

Tournament dark horses Russia got their Group F campaign at the FIFA Futsal World Cup off to the perfect start with a 16-0 hammering of Solomon Islands. There was also bad news for debutantsColombia who, despite leading 2-1 at the break, conceded four second-half goals and all three points to Guatemala.

In Group E, Czech Republic were made to sweat for their victory over Kuwait. Coach Tomas Neumann's men were cruising 3-0 before the Asians fought back with two goals in the closing minutes. Nevertheless, the Europeans managed to hold on for a valuable win. In the group's other game, tournament newcomers Serbia surprised African heavyweights Egypt with a 3-1 triumph.

Guatemala 5-2 Colombia
Russia 16-0 Solomon Islands
Czech Republic 3-2 Kuwait
Egypt 1-3 Serbia

Goal of the day
Guatemala-Colombia, 1-1, Jose Gonzalez, 12'00"
Guatemala's goal to make it 1-1 against Colombia was a shining example of why futsal is so popular. Alan Aguilar drove forward in midfield before finding team-mate Estuardo de Leon in Colombia's area. Showing remarkable speed of thought upon seeing Cafeteros goalkeeper Juan Lozano rushing out, De Leon flicked the ball over the custodian to Jose Gonzalez, who had no trouble in volleying home from close range.

Memorable moments
Vocal Kuwaitis
When the Kuwaiti national anthem was played before their match against Czech Republic, there was wide-eyed admiration around the Indoor Stadium Huamark in Bangkok, as all 14 of the Asians' players, as well as the entire technical staff, passionately sang an-Naschid al-Watani. With their eyes fixed on their country's flag, captain Aman Salem and Co fervently recited the words, penned by the poet Ahmad Meschari al-Adwani.

Dream debut for Eder Lima
Russia forward Eder Lima could not have hoped for a better debut at a FIFA Futsal World Cup. Not only did his team beat Solomon Islands 16-0, but the 28-year-old netted seven times. His impressive haul has inevitably taken him to the top of the tournament's goalscorer charts.

One for the history books
For Alejandro Serna and Vidan Bojovic, the date 3 November 2012 will be forever etched in their memories. Both players scored their country's first ever goal at a FIFA Futsal World Cup, for Colombiaand Serbia respectively. While Serna was left licking his wounds following a defeat, the diminutive Bojovic's strike helped Serbia on their way to three crucial points.

Stat of the day
1,800 - When Armando Escobar scored Guatemala's second to pull level at 2-2 against Colombia, it not only marked the match's turning point in favour of the Central Americans - it was also a milestone in the tournament's history. The Guatemalan's strike was the 1,800th to be scored since the competition began.

The words
"Our concentration wasn't the best. Nevertheless, my players fought until the end because they didn't want a repeat of the result four years ago (31-2)," Dickson Kadau, Solomon Islands coach.

Next up
Sunday 4 November 2012 (All kick-off times are local)
Group A
Paraguay - Costa Rica (17.00)
Thailand - Ukraine (19.00)

Group C
Portugal - Japan (19.00)
Brazil - Libya (21.00)

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