Portugal secured the most dramatic of draws against FIFA Futsal World Cup hosts Colombia in an enthralling game in Cali that ended 1-1.
The home crowd had to wait less than 30 seconds for a fairytale start as captain Angellott Caro volleyed home, with his celebration showing just how pumped up he and his team-mates were for the start of the tournament.
Portugal did not buckle under the weight of pressure coming from the packed stands in Cali, as their pedigree set in and ensured the game did not run away from them. We were left with an intriguing battle and, while Bruno Coelho struck the post, the hosts looked the slicker and more comfortable.
The occasional disjointedness of the Portuguese was highlighted most evidently when talisman Ricardinho, of all people, gifted Caro a chance to double the lead after the break. But resolute defending kept the side in red at bay as Portugal took control in the second period, with the Europeans getting increasingly frustrated – even more so when Ricardinho rattled the Colombian crossbar.
While the pre-match favourites continued to knock at the door, Colombia refused to cede. But with two seconds on the clock, as Portugal looked down and out as they took a final kick in after 53 unsuccessful shots, Cardinal swivelled and fired a dagger into the hearts of the home fans with the final kick of the game.
The hosts will look to extinguish their disappointment when they take on Uzbekistan in Cali on Tuesday, following on from Portugal’s clash with Panama.