Matchday 7 review: Rakhmatov snatches ticket as RFU, Kazakhstan finish top
Anaskhon Rakhmatov sent Uzbekistan through dramatically
RFU and Kazakhstan progressed as group winners
Costa Rica rallied to win and give themselves hope of the knockout phase
Saturday, 18 September Group A Venezuela 1-1 Kazakhstan, Vilnius Costa Rica 6-2 Lithuania, Kaunas Group B Guatemala 1-4 RFU, Kaunas Egypt 1-2 Uzbekistan, Vilnius
The ticket-taking golazo Uzbekistan began the day bottom of their pool. They finished it having dramatically swum into the Round of 16. Anaskhon Rakhmatov was their unlikely superhero. The goal that seized the all-important 2-1 victory over Egypt – a thunderous volley and Goal of the Tournament contender – was even more unlikelier. The veteran roar If Guatemala go through on goal difference, they will be indebted to William Ramirez for keeping RFU’s goal count down. The 41-year-old, at his fourth Futsal World Cup, celebrated every save wildly and infectiously screamed ‘Vamos Guate’ throughout. The world’s greatest Leo Higuita has been named Best Goalkeeper in the World in five of the last six years. Everyone in Vilnius Arena saw why tonight. The 35-year-old produced a series of breathtaking saves to earn Kazakhstan a point that sent them through as group winners. Double-triple Costa Rica, who needed no less than victory to have any chance of reaching the Round of 16, were losing to Lithuania. They didn’t just get the win, but did so emphatically to leap above fellow third-placed finishers Guatemala on goal difference. Central to the turnaround were wingers Milinton Tijerino and Daniel Gomez, who scored two and three apiece to leave Los Ticos in with a decent chance of scraping through.
Matchday 7 of FIFA Futsal World Cup Lithuania 2021™
Khusniddin Nishonov of Uzbekistan celebrates first goal
VILNIUS, LITHUANIA - SEPTEMBER 18: Khusniddin Nishonov of Uzbekistan celebrates scoring his teams first goal of the match during the FIFA Futsal World...
Afanasev of RFU celebrates first goal
KAUNAS, LITHUANIA - SEPTEMBER 18: Andrei Afanasev of RFU celebrates scoring his teams first goal of the match during the FIFA Futsal World Cup 2021 gr...
“It’s a wonderful goal, but most of all, it’s an important goal. I thought of my parents, my friends, my compatriots, all of our fans. But the strange thing is that I knew it would happen. Everybody told me before the game: today you’ll score the goal that will qualify us. And thank God that’s what happened.” Anaskhon Rakhmatov
Group D Brazil-Panama, 16:00, Klaipeda Czech Republic-Vietnam, 16:00, Kaunas
Group C Solomon Islands-Thailand, 18:00, Kaunas Portugal-Morocco, 18:00, Klaipeda