Premier Futsal League: Falcao brace not enough as Kochi earn thrilling 4-4 draw with Chennai
Chennai 5s threw away a 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 influential.
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 a sprightly Michel Salgado standing in their way as he led 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.
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.
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.