Premier Futsal League: Kochi draw 3-3 with Chennai to qualify, Goa defeat Bangalore 3-0
Kochi and Goa will join Mumbai and Kolkata in the semis
Chaguniha’s heroics sends Kochi into semi-finals
The thrilling game between Mumbai and Kochi, gave Chennai a lifeline before their game agains 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 tow 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.
Goa reach semis after comfortable win over Bangalore
Cafu helped his Goa side reach the semi-finals of the Premier Futsal league in his very first game of the tournament as they registered a win over lacklustre Bangalore. He was involved for the first goal, Rafael rifled home the second, with Vampeta scoring the third through a penalty.
Cafu played his first ever Futsal game after coming as the replacement for fellow Brazilian Ronaldinho as the marquee player. Bangalore needed a win to ensure progress into the semi-final while Goa only needed a draw.
It was end-to-end stuff right from the beginning as both teams were not holding back. Goa drew first blood as Michael Silva slipped the ball underneath the keeper from close range after Cafu’s attempt was blocked and rebounded to the Indian lad.
Bangalore had not shown too much in quality compared to their group rivals and it would be an uphill battle for Scholes and his men. Jonathan went close to leveling the scores but his header was straight at the keeper.
Cafu was really at home during his first game. He said in an interview before that he began with Futsal before making his name in professional football. At the end of the 2nd quarter, it was still 1-0 to Goa.
The job became even more difficult for Bangalore as they were once again caught in defence just after the start of the 3rd quarter. Rafael let one fly and it landed in the top corner after Bangalore failed to deal with the danger.
Bangalore continued to struggle, unable put two passes together as Scholes continued to be frustrated. Goa were just looking for a chance to counter with their comfortable 2-0 lead.
Fredsan Marshall had the chance to put the game beyond all doubt but he missed the opportunity by skying it over the bar. But Vampeta did finally decide the contest with a precise spot-kick that landed in the top right corner of the net.