Brazil held out against the battering ram of Ukraine to see them begin their title defence at the FIFA Futsal World Cup Colombia 2016 with a win.
Ukraine started on the front foot and forced Brazil back, but lightning counter-attacks from A Seleção were always a threat, before another breakaway brought about the opener from Rodrigo’s drilled free-kick.
Falcao was next to get his name on the scoresheet – much to the delight of the crowd – as he equalled the all-time appearance record at the Futsal World Cup, and who was clearly enjoying himself with his usual array of delightful tricks and flicks.
But in a game of 119 shots, it was largely down to the men at either end that saw the score remain low, owing to some outstanding displays from Tiago and Ivegen Ivanyak. The screams of the former as he made save after save exemplified the passion on show.
The game remained equal and open after the break until Ukraine bit back. Mykola Grytsyna volleyed home a corner and Brazil for the first time looked shaken. But it was only shaken, and not stirred, as Oleksandr Sorokin unfortunately turned into his own net to take the sting out of the Europeans' comeback hopes.
Next up for Brazil will be a meeting with Group D’s other victor Australia, while Ukraine take on Mozambique, again in Bucaramanga.