THE DAY REPLAYED – Wednesday’s three Round of 16 ties at the FIFA Futsal World Cup Colombia 2016 saw Iran make history, Spain repeat it and Portugal restate their intention to create some themselves. FIFA.com looks back at the day’s events.
Iran defied the odds against Brazil in a match that also defied belief. As expected, A Seleçao controlled the early exchanges and went two goals up thanks to Falcao. The Asian champions quickly pulled a goal back and remained in contention through to the closing stages, eventually forcing extra time and penalties, where they finished the job off and ended an era. Having appeared in six of the seven Futsal World Cup finals to date, and come third in 2004, Brazil will be absent from the quarter-finals for the first time ever.
Spain trod familiar territory against Kazakhstan. Rocked back on their heels early on, La Roja dug in, held their nerve and drew on their tactical expertise to see off the stubborn Kazakhs, who kept fighting till the end.
Portugal star Ricardinho went into their tie with Costa Rica having scored two goals more than all Los Ticos put together. By the end of their last-16 tie, that stat read four goals more, with the goal machine adding a brace to his tournament tally. The Portuguese showed they are more than just a one-man band, however, turning in a powerful performance to remind everyone they will take some beating.
Portugal 4-0 Costa Rica
Spain 5-2 Kazakhstan
Brazil 4-4 Iran (Iran win 3-2 after PSO)
Handshakes all round
The Handshake for Peace is a feature of the pre and post-match protocol at FIFA competitions, and Colombia 2016 has been no exception. To mark the International Day of Peace on Wednesday, the spectators got in on the act, applauding sporting gestures on the court and putting their hands together for injured players as they made their way off it. They also showed their appreciation for the handshakes that marked the end of a tense match between Kazakhstan and Spain, for Brazil’s good grace in accepting their shock defeat, and for the spirit of fair play that reigned in the meeting between Portugal and Costa Rica.
All hail the master
Falcao’s storied World Cup career came to an end in truly heart-warming fashion. Bowing out of his fifth and final world finals with a hat-trick in a losing cause, the 39-year-old legend received a fond farewell from the Iranian players, who showed their appreciation of him by lifting him up and throwing him into the air.
The Brazilians do not have a monopoly on tricks and flicks, as Iran’s Hossein Tayebi ably demonstrated. Inspired by Falcao’s band of artists, the Iranian entertainer drew the applause of the Bucaramanga crowd with his array of skills, which included a smart stepover and shot for his goal and an audacious lob from the middle of the court.
Fortune turns its back on the brave
Having conceded just two goals in their three group matches, Kazakhstan shipped five against Spain, a reflection of their opponents’ attacking prowess and of the risks taken by the Kazakhs on their first appearance in the last 16. With seven minutes still left on the clock, they were already playing with a flying goalkeeper.
28 - the number of Futsal World Cup matches Brazil had gone without defeat, with the exception of penalty shootouts, prior to their loss to Iran. Their last loss in regulation time at the tournament was in the final at Guatemala 2000, when they went down 4-3 to Spain.
“I still feel emotional. I admire Spain and the work they do tactically. We did what we could and I am very happy, but also very tired. I can leave with my head held high.”
Kazakhstan coach Ricardo Sobral
“I said before that we were going to cause Brazil problems right to the end, and we can say that we went out and did just that.”
Iran coach Seyed Nazemalsharieh
“The difference lay in their mental approach, their finishing and their experience. At this level keeping a cool head is vital. I’m proud of my players and of the qualities they showed as people.”
Costa Rica coach Diego Solis
The last three Round of 16 ties
22 September (all times local)
Argentina-Ukraine (17.30, Bucaramanga)
Thailand-Azerbaijan (17.30, Medellin)
Italy-Egypt (20.00, Cali)