Iran stunned the futsal world as they knocked reigning FIFA Futsal World Cup holders Brazil out of Colombia 2016, winning 3-2 on penalties after a 3-3 draw.
As the game got going it felt like this was going to be a no contest, simply waiting for Brazil’s cogs to all begin moving as one, as the world champions pinned Iran back and probed for opportunities. Iran couldn’t find a way out and lacked ideas until the inevitable happened: Falcao, in what turned out to be his final game, opened the scoring.
Fresh from breaking the all-time scoring record against Mozambique, Brazil’s No12 went about extending it, netting twice, first from a crisp volley, then via a genius training ground free-kick routine, capping off Rodrigo’s pass with a cheeky back-heel.
The one-way traffic ended soon after, led by Hossein Tayebi, who capitalised after good pressing from the Iranians, before they started hammering on the door, ending the first half well on top with Brazil looking uncharacteristically like they had lost all traction.
But any false sense of security was broken when Fernandinho rattled the bar, before forcing a good save from Alireza Sammi. Iran were still very much in the game, but the balance shifted towards those in yellow.
Falcao’s spectacular bicycle kick drew oohs from the crowd as Sammi saved, and again before producing an even better save from Dieguniho’s delicate dink. However, seconds later the Sporting CP man tried it again and this time it came off.
But just as you thought things were reverting to type, Iran ended this half brightly too. Afshin Kazemi flashed home an effort to halve the deficit again, before – while utilising the power play – Ali Hassan Zadeh slammed in to equalise. Extra time beckoned.
Sammi was put to work in the first five, as Brazil pushed on hard to find a winner. They thought they had it when Falcao lifted the ball over Sammi, only for seconds later fellow captain Mohammed Keshavarz did likewise.
It went to penalties and, after Ari rattled the upright, Ahmad Esmaeuilpour hit the winner, setting up a clash with Paraguay in three days’ time.