The FIFA Futsal World Cup Colombia 2016 hosts made it into the last 16 after they saw themselves past Panama in an electrifying 4-3 win.
Colombia knew they needed victory to be certain of a place in the next round and their captain fantastic Angellot Caro tapped in from Andres Reyes’ cross to get them going. It was reward from a bold start from the hosts, who came out of the traps on the front foot.
Panama were not to be discounted though, as they attacked the space left by Colombia and they were level not long after, with Josue Brown’s stinging strike being met by deadened silence in Cali. The Central Americans were on par with the home side until they fell to four men, with Michael De Leon picking up a second yellow, which swung the game.
Jhonatan Toro made the man advantage count, firing superbly from an acute angle off the bar, post and in. After the break, Jorge Abril fired them further but Abdiel Castrellon scored one of the goals of the tournament so far, rolling his defender and skipping past the keeper, to halve the deficit and raise the collective blood pressure in the stands.
Bookings for Caro and Abril could be huge in the next game, but a straight red card for Castrellon, for pulling down Miguel Sierra, proved costly, leading to Reyes adding a goal to his night’s work.
Panama weren’t down and out as Fernando Mena pulled one back, but it wasn’t enough to stop them facing an anxious wait to see if they will remain in Colombia.