A world-class display by Czech keeper Jan Klima featuring 33 saves from the 37 shots fired at his goal was not enough to prevent Brazil claiming a 4-1 victory from one of the best games of the FIFA Futsal World Championship Chinese Taipei 2004 so far. Both sides look in fine fettle as they head into the second round.
Brazil coach Ferretti oozed satisfaction afterwards: "That was a complex match against very good opponents. I'm extremely pleased because today we saw a new quality in my team. They kept their cool."
True to form, Ferretti completely reshuffled his starting line-up for the third time, sending on Pablo, Euler, Simi and Falcao for the kick-off. Czech counterpart Michal Striz restored Jan Klima to the goalkeeping position and dropped Daniel Levcik to the bench in favour of Tomas Sluka.
Falcao loosed off the first shot after just 15 seconds before Klima made a smart double stop from Simi. At the other end of the court, Sluka failed to capitalise on a promising opening in a blistering start to the match.
As the action intensified, the Czechs strode forward to claim a shock lead, Mares beating keeper Franklin all ends up and adding to his hat-trick against Australia with a precise low drive after just three minutes. But now Klima took the spotlight, beating out thunderbolts from Euler and Falcao in the fifth minute and inspiring his side to hold back the Brazilian tide. Franklin matched the Czech custodian's heroics with a tremendous save from Dlouhy before Klima again denied Falcao after seven minutes. Musial almost doubled the East Europeans' advantage a minute later.
The Brazilians dictated the pace but it was the Czechs who created the next clear-cut chance, Dlouhy hitting an upright on the quarter hour after Sluka's fine build-up. Indio struck Brazil's deserved equaliser from the next move, and Klima had to be alert to keep out Manoel Tobias' 19th minute effort. With just six seconds remaining in the half the South Americans finally eased in front thanks to Falcao's stunner of a volley.
Klima's world-class form prompted Striz to abandon his original plan of sending out Petr Krayzel for the second half. The Czechs more than held their own and struck the post again after 23 minutes through Kamenicky. Dlouhy should have done better on 25 minutes and Indio tried a volley but miscued, before both Sluka and Mares came agonisingly close to levelling. But when it finally arrived, the next goal fell to Brazil, Neto coolly finishing off a fine one-two with Indio after 27 minutes. Franklin held well from Dlouhy on the half-hour before Falcao had the crowd on their feet with a stunning overhead kick that went close. Vander finished off the battling Czechs to bring up the 4-1 final score with two minutes remaining.
Czech supremo Striz was by no means unhappy at the end: "We knew we were in for a tough match. My goalkeeper Klima was superb and stopped a number of certain goals, so there was no way I could take him off at half-time."