Russia came out on top in an entertaining 6-4 encounter with Thailand as they began their FIFA Futsal World Cup Colombia 2016 campaigns.
The Europeans raced into a three-goal lead before being pegged back, only to score three more times and survive a late onslaught from Miguel Rodrigo’s side.
Eder Lima showed an early glimpse of his aerial acrobatics, but both sides sparred cautiously in the opening minutes. It was not long until he showed the prowess that won him the adidas Golden Boot four years ago, though, using his size and power to roll his defender, then firing a thunderous left-footed strike beyond Hankampa Katawut.
Suphawut Thueanklang, scorer of the Thailand 2012 goal of the tournament, added another superb goal to his collection before the break and they were back level inside 110 second-half seconds with a quick-fire double.
But Russia came back with a vengeance, featuring with a pair of well-worked free-kicks, the latter bringing up Eder’s hat-trick and restoring a three-goal lead. The pendulum swung again, with Gustavo in the Russian goal worked intensely, but a glaring miss from Jirawat Sornwichian meant Thailand just missed out.
Russia will look to keep up their strong start when they take on Egypt, fresh from an opening victory themselves, while Thailand will hope to get some points on the board against Cuba on Tuesday.