Brazil have taken the bronze medal at the FIFA Futsal World Championship Chinese Taipei 2004 with a comfortable 7-4 third place play-off victory over Argentina. In stark contrast to the first meeting between the sides six days ago, Argentine legs looked heavy. The Albiceleste only made an impression in the second half as the Brazilians sat back on a convincing half-time margin.
"Both teams realised there was no pressure today so it was easy enough to put on a show and score goals," Brazil coach Ferretti commented. "We're delighted at winning bronze." FIFA.com later learnt that Ferretti is to step down as coach, making way for a new boss with fresh ideas.
The big question ahead of the third place showdown was which of the coaches, Ferretti of Brazil and Larrañaga of Argentina, had done the better job of geeing up his team after bitter semi-final defeats. Both coaches fielded unchanged starting line-ups.
The pattern of the first half became clear right at the start as Brazil raced into the lead with just 22 seconds on the clock, Falcao netting for the 11th time at the tournament following Simi's lay-off. The same player doubled his and his side's tally five minutes later in a disturbing case of deja vu for Argentina. They had conceded an early brace in both the second round duel with Brazil and the semi-final against Italy.
But in another echo of the earlier encounter, the Albiceleste fought their way back into it. Their response came even earlier on this occasion, captain Carlos Sanchez reviving their hopes as he pulled one back on nine minutes. But there was no stopping Falcao on the day as the quicksilver hitman restored Brazil's two-goal advantage with a precise shot after 12 minutes. Schumacher finished off a slick passing move with Tobias to extend the lead after 17 minutes before Euler added another 60 seconds later. Tobias then served up an unmissable chance for Indio and the score was 6-1 a minute before half-time. Planas and Gimenez declined opportunities to repair some of the damage before the break.
Argentina came out for the second period determined to improve the look of the scoreline and Sanchez struck again after swapping passes with Garcias on 23 minutes. Guisande denied Falcao two minutes later but opposite number Franklin was powerless to stop Giustozzi's 29th minute drive. The Brazilians had shifted down a gear and Giustozzi brought Argentina back to within two goals on the half-hour. Franklin was forced to work hard for a period as he beat out three efforts in quick succession from Sanchez and Wilhelm, but Schumacher finally killed off the Argentinian revival with a 36th minute free-kick to bring up the 7-4 final score.
Argentine boss Fernando Larrañaga commented: "I'm disappointed. We were too passive and unfocused in the first half. Our defence doesn't normally let in 14 goals in two games. We gave a hint of our real potential in the second half."