Czechs on song in Rio
© Foto-net

In Group D, Czech Republic took a step closer to realising their quest of reaching the second round of the FIFA Futsal World Cup Brazil 2008 by defeating Libya 4-2 at the Maracanazinho in an entertaining match.

The enthusiastic crowd in Rio had to wait a full seven minutes for the first goal due to some fine goalkeeping from Mohamed Alsharif in the Libya goal who made two spectacular saves to deny Roman Mares and Jan Janovsky. However, he was powerless to stop Michal Mares' spot-kick, awarded after Janovsky was felled in the box by Mohamed Suleiman.

Czech Republic doubled their advantage eight minutes later due to a rare goalkeeping error from Alsharif, who failed to hold on to a Marek Kopecky's shot, which slid into the net. The goal spurred Libya into action and they pulled one back two minutes before half-time through Yousef Mohamed.

Four minutes after the re-start, Libya were level, with Mohamed Rahoma's delicious effort restoring parity, but the Asians' joy was short-lived as just two minutes later, Martin Dlouhy put his team back on top. Libya almost grabbed an equaliser when Rahoma's goalbound effort was blocked on the line by Jiri Novotny with the ‘keeper beaten. Then in the 39th minute, Tomas Sluka scored to seal the game's fate.

Libya now leave the tournament without winning a game, but have won plenty of admirers for the way they played, while Czech Republic travel to Brasilia on Thursday to face Iran in a game which will seal their fate in the tournament.