Australia survived a scare to pick up their first ever opening-game victory at a FIFA Futsal World Cup, kicking off Colombia 2016 in perfect fashion with a 3-2 win over Mozambique.
Both sides began in cagey fashion as they found their World Cup feet, and to their credit the African debutants got into their rhythm quickly and arguably should have taken the lead. First a breakaway saw Favito hit the post, before Ricardinho was denied by Angelo Konstantinou – who was a constant thorn in their side as he patrolled his area.
While the more patient approach failed to bear fruit for the side at their first FIFA tournament of any discipline, eventually the direct one saw Australia profit, hitting three before the break and looking firmly in control.
The Bucaramanga crowd willed Mozambique on in the second period and went wild when Calo’s shot skipped through the legs of Wade Giovenali and in. Smelling a comeback, Mozambique went all in, utilising the power play to great effect – sitting perfectly with their possession style – as captain Dino slotted home a second to put Australia firmly on the ropes.
Robert Varela's side went close on a number of occasions from distance, but clung on with a backs-to-the-wall final five minutes. The pair face daunting tasks in their games on Tuesday, with Australia and Mozambique facing Brazil and Ukraine respectively.