Spain's Boomerang Interviu completed their second consecutive Intercontinental Futsal Cup success when they reprised last year's defeat of Brazil's Malwee/Jaragua in Sunday's final. A goal from Brazilian international Neto was enough to decide a tight encounter and take the coveted trophy back to Spain. The win provided the in-form Green Machine with the perfect tonic as they embark on a hectic end-of-season schedule.
In a repeat of last season's final in Puertollano, Spain, both sides adopted a predictably cautious, tactical approach as they cancelled each other out. With both sets of players displaying maximum concentration and superb technique, the first half proved a tightly contested affair. Five minutes into the second half, though, the stalemate was broken. Neto stole the ball from Valdin after a quick throw-out from keeper Donny and thundered a terrific left-foot strike into the corner of the Brazilian net.
Forced to chase the game, Malwee fought hard for possession and threw on the big guns in a desperate attempt to draw level. The Brazilians looked to Falcao for inspiration, but when they did manage to pick a way through the tightly packed Boomerang defence they found keeper Luis Amado in inspired form.
As the clock ticked down, Daniel intercepted a last-ditch Brazilian attack and fired towards an open goal only to see Malwee's reserve keeper, Bage, rush off the bench and kick the ball away. The stand-in stopper was shown the red card for his pains.
Although the vociferous crowd roared the home side on, the defending champions held firm. "It's very important for the team to pick up a title as important as this for the second consecutive year," said Boomerang coach Jesus Candelas.
Match winner Neto was understandably thrilled as he gave his analysis afterwards: "It was a vital goal for me, my teammates and the fans. It has made a lot of people very happy. That said, it was a close-run thing. Both teams played really well, but we managed to capitalise on one of their mistakes and that made the difference."
Carlos Barbosa take third
Brazilian outfit Carlos Barbosa claimed third place with their 4-3 win over Universidad Autonoma de Asuncion. The Canarinho side, looking to repay the fans for their huge support, went on the attack straightaway and soon went ahead through Tostao. Further goals from Vitor, Andrey and Carlinhos after the restart looked to have settled the matter, but Balbuena, Reyes and Osorio got on the scoresheet for the university side to ensure a nerve-wracking finale in which keeper Emerson even kept out a Paraguayan penalty.
Although Carlos Barbosa held on for victory, coach Jarico was far from happy: "The players let nerves get the better of them at the end and we nearly threw it away. We can't let that happen again. We've got to sort it out."
"Luck wasn't on our side today. Even so, we're delighted we played so well against some top professional teams. After all, we're only amateurs," said a proud Universidad coach, Juan Carlos Orihuela.
Third place was scant consolation for the Brazilians, having gone all the way in the same competition two years earlier in Barcelona. "Despite finishing third, we're disappointed. We really feel we should have beaten Boomerang," said a dejected Juninho.
That defeat to the Spaniards was Carlos Barbosa's only reverse of the tournament. In their other game they dished out a 9-1 thrashing Japan's Predator, who were still shell-shocked from their 8-0 defeat to Boomerang on the opening day.
Over in Group A, Malwee/Jaragua swept the USA's ServCorp aside 10-1 before dispatching Universidad Autonoma de Asuncion 5-0 to claim a place in the final. The North Americans completed a thoroughly miserable tournament when they lost 6-2 to the Paraguayans and then fell 4-2 to Predator in the play-off for fifth place.
Malwee/Jaragua 10-1 ServCorp
Universidad Autonoma de Asuncion 6-2 ServCorp
Malwee/Jaragua 5-0 Universidad Autonoma de Asuncion
Boomerang Interviu 8-0 Predator
Carlos Barbosa 9-1 Predator
Carlos Barbosa 3-5 Boomerang Interviu
ServCorp 2-4 Predator
Universidad Autonoma de Asuncion 3-4 Carlos Barbosa
Malwee/Jaragua 0-1 Boomerang Interviu