With the first round of matches about to enter the final straight, fans can look forward to the prospect of another enthralling day’s action at the FIFA Futsal World Cup Brazil 2008 on Tuesday. FIFA.com previews all the encounters as the attentions shifts to Groups C and D.
Following their win against China PR, a buoyant Egypt will be trying to repeat the feat when they meet Ukraine in the Group C encounter. In the same section Guatemala will be hoping to enhance their chances of a second round berth with a win over China PR. With Spain sitting very comfortably at the top of Group D, Iran and Czech Republic will both be looking for victories in the race for second place.
The big game
Ukraine-Egypt, Tuesday 7 October, 12.30 local time, Brasilia
It is now all-or-nothing time for Egypt, with only a win against the eastern Europeans enough to keep the Pharaohs' dreams of a place in the last eight alive. After narrow defeats to Guatemala and Argentina in their opening games, Egypt finally picked up their first points of the tournament against China PR on Sunday. Following a win and a draw in their first two matches, Ukraine could take a big step in the direction of the second round with a win over the north Africans. Coach Gennadiy Lisenchuk’s team currently occupy second spot in the table and showed impressive form in their games against Guatemala and Argentina.
The other games
The other fixture taking place in Group C sees CONCACAF champions Guatemala take on China PR. With three points to their name already, the Central Americans can keep their second-round aspirations alive with a victory over the Asians, who are yet to pick up a point at this year’s tournament. China’s Brazilian-born coach Farinha will be especially keen to restore wounded pride with the tournament taking place in his homeland.
Asian champions Iran meet Uruguay in Rio de Janeiro on Tuesday, when they will be looking to consolidate their hold on second place in Group D. The South Americans, with a solitary point to their name in the tournament so far, are obliged to win to retain any hope of progressing to the next round. Czech Republic, currently lying third and a point adrift of Iran, will be hoping to bounce back from their 4-0 defeat to Spain when they take on Libya. While a win for the north Africans would represent no more than consolation in their last match of the tournament, a victory for Czech Republic would set up an intriguing final game showdown with Iran.
Mohammad Hashemzadeh (Iran)
With his brace in Iran’s 4-2 victory over Libya, the 31-year-old pivot notched up his very first goals at a FIFA Futsal World Cup. At the event in Chinese Taipei fours year ago, Hashemzadeh failed to get on the scoresheet and had no joy either in Iran’s opening match of Brazil 2008 – a creditable 3-3 draw with Spain. Now that he has found his scoring range, coach Hossein Shams will be hoping he continues in similar fashion against Uruguay.
20 - After participating in every world cup since 1992, the game against Uruguay will be Iran’s 20th at a FIFA Futsal World Cup. No other Asian nation has chalked up more games at futsal’s premier event.
What they said
“We’re focusing now on the game against Libya. If we win that match it will give us a boost going into the game against Iran, which will decide who goes into the next round.” Roman Mares, Czech Republic player.
All the fixtures
Rio de Janeiro
Follow the matches from the FIFA Futsal World Cup 2008 live on FIFA.com, either via the EMIRATES Live MatchCast or with live TV images. After the final whistle, you can also enjoy highlights of all the matches.