The genius of Andres Reyes and some outstanding defensive play propelled Colombia to a 3-1 upset of Ukraine and a FIFA Futsal World Cup semi-final date with Brazil. A wonder goal from Reyes had the South Americans ahead and they put two last-minute goals into an unguarded net, before the Europeans grabbed an even later consolation.
The first half was shy on meaningful action, with Ukraine dominating possession but finding goalkeeper Juan Lozano equal to their rare attempts on goal.
Colombia offered little threat going forward in the first 20 minutes, but within 140 seconds of the restart they had broken the deadlock through Reyes. The diminutive No9 danced past a Ukrainian defender before burying a vicious toe-poke into the bottom corner.
Ukraine had virtually all of the ball thereafter, but Colombia defended masterfully and actually had the best opportunities on the counter-attack. Angellott Caro cut inside two men from the left and forced Ievgen Ivanyak into a fine save, and the Ukraine No1 had to be alert to deny Jhonathan Toro.
With just 90 seconds left on the clock, Ivanyak was sacrificed for an outfield player, but Caro and Jorge Abril put the ball into the empty net from distance to give Colombia an unassailable 3-0 lead.
“It’s a great win for us, and a result we believed we could get. We studied the tactics of Ukraine well and we knew what approach to take against them. We have a young group of players who are highly motivated and that has been the key to our recent success. We are happy that we have brought joy to the people back home,” Arney Fonnegra, Colombia coach.
“When the match was still 0-0, it was an even encounter and I believed that whichever team took the lead would go on to win the match. Colombia played well defensively as they have good defenders and a great goalkeeper. They know how to defend and win matches,” Gennadiy Lisenchuk, Ukraine coach.