Premier Futsal: Michel Salgado and Kochi have the last laugh on stormy Saturday
The Jawaharlal Nehru indoor stadium in Chennai was noisy and bathed in a sea of red on day two of Premier Futsal. That's because the two Manchester United greats - Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes - were both in action with their respective teams.
Chennai’s Manchester United Fans’ Association even brought out their very own banner designed to welcome the duo. The banner definitely visible and their chants clearly audible, they were joined by a smattering of other United fans in the arena in drumming up quite the din.
Unfortunately for them, Giggs’ Mumbai side fell to a 4-1 defeat at the hands of the Kochi team led by Michel Salgado. In their days with their respective clubs, Giggs on the left wing for United facing up to Salgado at right-back for Real, the two marquee names had some memorable duels in the UEFA Champions League. Salgado ended up on the winning side both times then. On Saturday evening, different sport, different teams, result the same - Salgado victorious over Giggs.
The Spaniard put in a superb shift, sitting out just about 5-6 minutes of the 40, in leading his side to victory with a late second half charge.
At one point there was even a bit of needle between the two big names as Giggs, after fouling Salgado, appeared to make a fish dive gesture to the referees to indicate that Salgado had dived. The Spaniard didn't take too kindly to that and ended up having a few heated words with Giggs and some other Mumbai players.
“Salgado is a great player and he we look to him for his leadership. Ever since he's come he has been driving the team”, said Moraes who picked up the man-of-the-match award for his stellar showing.
Mumbai made a bright start with Giggs having an attempt on goal as early as the third minute with the outside of his left foot. Kochi though were happy to withstand the pressure and eventually scored first through a Moraes penalty in the third quarter after a goalless first half.
“Our team, from the beginning, has not been a favourite team, but we believe in our star player Salgado and today we played good and won the game”, Moraes added.
Moraes also spoke about how right from a very young age, futsal and football are a passion for kids in Brazil and how a lot of the big players such as Barcelona's Neymar and Paris Saint-Germain’s Lucas Moura’s skills are from that background.
For Mumbai, Foglia, who had a two-goal game on Friday, could not have quite the same impact. Ramirez from the Mumbai team, who was also impressive in their opening win spoke about how their partnership didn't fire on Saturday.
“Yes, he (Foglia) played attack, I played back, we tried to find each other. Today we had two chances in the first half, but we couldn't score. When they attacked they scored. This happens in futsal”, Ramirez had to say.
Tempers began to boil over as Angellot and Foglia had a bit of a go at each other towards the end when Mumbai failed to take a good chance. Ramirez though shot it down as something that happens on the field - “It's all good. It happens during the game. We are all friends, Indian, Italian, Brazilian, Colombian.”
“It's not easy for them. They are nervous. There is pressure on them, first time they are playing with these players and such a crowd, but they are good, the talent is there”, said the Argentine.
He also expects the matches to get tougher as teams start getting the hang of it.
A feisty day
There was a bit of a needle too in Saturday's matches.
Pula of Kolkata and Neto of Bengaluru were constantly ranting off at each other in the second half of the game between Kolkata and Bengaluru.
In the first game, Giggs and Salgado had a mini duel. The Welshman, after fouling Salgado, seemed to gesture a fish dive motion to the referees, suggesting that the Spaniard had dived. That ticked Salgado off, and he had a verbal exchange with Giggs and some other Mumbai players.
With a huge number of Manchester United supporters present, Salgado was even booed whenever he touched the ball. The former Real Madrid man though is famous for his endurance as he ended up having the last laugh, his team winning, with Salgado himself scoring the fourth and final goal, after blocking a pass from Giggs himself, to wrap up the game.
Kochi 5s 4-1 Mumbai 5s
Bengaluru 5s 1-1 Kolkata 5s
Bengaluru 5s vs Goa 5s - 7 PM
Chennai 5s vs Kochi 5s - 8 PM