A Saad Assis hat-trick inspired Italy to a 5-1 win over a Egypt and a place in the FIFA Futsal World Cup quarter-finals. Roberto Menichelli’s men will now do battle with Portugal on Wednesday for a place in the last four.
Egypt started brightly, but they found themselves at a deficit after just four minutes. Following a nice passing move, the ball ended up at the feet of Assis, who dispatched a powerful shot.
The Africans were back on level terms on 11 minutes, when Ahmed Abou Serie somehow found the back of the net from an acute angle.
However, Italy instantly restored their lead, with Assis in the right place at the right time to tap home. On the stroke of half-time, Jairo Dos Santos made it 3-1 with a delightful chip over goalkeeper Hema.
The Egyptians came out fighting in the second half, but they struggled to create meaningful chances against a resolute Italian defence.
The Europeans then put the game out of their opponents’ reach with two goals inside two minutes midway through the half. First, Assis completed his treble with a fierce shot, and then Rodolfo Fortino made it 5-1 after Egypt failed to clear their lines.
That’s how it finished, enhancing Italy’s status as one of the favourites for gold.
“If you look at the scoreline it might look like it was an easy match for us, but it wasn’t. After we conceded the equaliser we scored a quick goal and it was decisive for us as it was important to regain the lead at that stage. Egypt are a good team and they have some quality players who forced us to defend at certain stages of the game," Roberto Menichelli, Italy coach.
“We conceded goals today due to silly mistakes by our players. Conceding a quick goal just after getting the equaliser affected the mentality of the players. We had some chances to score tonight but the players were unlucky in those situations,” Badr Khalil, Egypt coach.