Italy made sure of their place in the last 16 of the FIFA Futsal World Cup Thailand 2012 when they came from behind to beat Argentina 3-2 in an eagerly awaited duel in Group D. In this section's other game, Australia produced a fightback of their own to see off Mexico 3-1 and, in doing so, kept themselves in the hunt for a knockout place.
Elsewhere, Group B favourites Spain and Iran secured respective wins over Panama and Morocco to put themselves on the brink of qualification. The losing finalists at Brazil 2008 showed Los Canaleros no mercy in easing to an 8-3 win in the day’s final game, while the Iranians were made to sweat in eking out a 2-1 defeat of the Moroccans, who are now all but out of the tournament.
Panama struck the woodwork twice in a frenetic opening but it was La Roja who drew first blood with a trademark goal. Following a burst of snappy, precise passes, Miguelin showed his vision by threading a ball through to Kike with the outside of his left foot, and the Spain captain kept his cool to finish off a classy team move with aplomb.
We’ll support you ever more
Australia and Iran seem to have more fans than anyone in Thailand, and both sets of supporters certainly got themselves noticed on Monday, impressing the locals with their chanting and colourful attire. They did the job too, inspiring their respective teams to vital wins.
Fast and furious
There are several things that make futsal different to its 11-a-side cousin, one of them being the short space of time that sometimes separates two goals. Monday’s games produced not one but two quickfire doubles, with a mere 18 seconds ticking by between Australia’s first and second goals against the Mexicans, and only 11 seconds elapsing between Iran’s opener against Morocco and the north Africans’ equaliser.
Shout, shout, let it all out
Unhappy with the wall his outfield team-mates had formed to defend an Argentinian free-kick, Italy goalkeeper Stefano Mammarella politely asked his colleagues on two occasions if they could line themselves up a little more effectively. The custodian’s requests fell on deaf ears, prompting him to let out a deafening cry that may well have been heard all the way back in Rome and caused plenty of laughter in the stands. The ultra-focused Mammarella got his point across, however, and ensured Italy came away with three of their own by making several vital stops.
Stat of the day
20 - The number of years since Australia last won a FIFA Futsal World Cup match. Prior to beating the Mexicans in Thailand on Monday, the Futsalroos had gone ten straight games without a win at the world finals, their most recent previous victory coming against Costa Rica at Hong Kong 1992.
“We should have the confidence and personality to believe we can play this game. Those are things you cannot blame our lack of experience for,”
Ramon Raya, Mexico coach.
Tuesday 6 November (all times local)
Egypt-Czech Republic (21.00)
Colombia-Solomon Islands (17.00)