Portugal through to the semi-finals
Portugal's coach, Orlando Duarte, was delighted with his team's performance in their last match in Group F of the FIFA Futsal World Championship Guatemala 2000: "We are in the semi-finals.What a big success for an amateur team like us. I am very proud of my players."
Portugal needed one point to qualify for the last four teams. But against Croatia, who could also have qualified with a victory, the Portuguese needed another three points. They won them in the second half of a very tight game in which both sides had enough opportunities to score in the first 20 minutes.
Portugal scored two goals in just two minutes. Croatia had to react and netted a goal after 37 minutes. They kept hunting for the equaliser but Portugal's defence made sure of committing no big errors. Majo decided the game with the third goal for the Portuguese.
In a match played almost entirely for statistics, Spain hammered the Netherlands 7-0. Spain, who had already qualified for the semi-finals, have won all six games so far in this FIFA Futsal World Championship Guatemala 2000. The Dutch had no chance against a well-balanced Iberian side, who demonstrated once again that their strength is team work and almost perfect organisation on the field. The crowd in the Domo hall had an entertaining time watching the slick goals scored by the Spaniards.
On Wednesday, each of the teams in Group E can still qualify for the semi-finals. Brazil, who have the best chance (six points, 16-5 goals), will be facing Russia (three points, 11-7 goals). Egypt (three points,10-16 goals) will play against Argentina (no points, 2-11 goals), who have only a theoretical chance of reaching the round of the last four.