Paraguay climbed back from an early two-goal deficit to defeat Guatemala 8-4 and ensure their progress to the knockout stages of the FIFA Futsal World Cup Colombia 2016.
Guatemala went into the match in Cali knowing only a win would keep their Colombia 2016 journey alive and they played with an urgency that certainly suggested that. Within two and a half minutes Los Chapines flew into a two-goal lead thanks to goals from Jonatan Arevalo and Walter Enriquez, who capitalised on mistakes made by the Paraguayan backline.
Guatemala continued to defend valiantly but eventually Emmanuel Ayala found the breakthrough for favourites Paraguay thanks to a powerfully taken free-kick. Within a minute, Ayala found the goal again when Richard Rejala found him with an incisive pass. Rejala then completed the comeback for the South Americans two minutes from the break.
The disappointment from having lost their two-goal lead seemed to effect Guatemala as Paraguay used the momentum from their strong finish in the first half to carry them through the second half. Ayala completed his hat-trick with less than four minutes into the second half when he took a strong shot from the top of the penalty area which slid through the legs of goalkeeper Carlos Merida.
Juan Pedrozo scored Paraguay's fifth but Jose Mansilla made it a nervy finish in Cali with a driven shot with his right foot that found the inside of the roof of Gabriel Gimenez's net. However, a goal from Juan Morel and then a full-field chip from Hugo Martinez made no doubt who the superior team on the night was. Guatemala never gave up with Jose Gonzalez scoring a consolation goal near the final whistle.
Paraguay's emphatic finish meant they secured the victory and progression to the knockout stages. Paraguay coach Carlos Chilavert will do his best to see his side better their Thailand 2012 performance when they dropped out of the tournament at the Round of 16. Guatemala can be proud of the fight they showed in the match but head out of the competition.