Matchday 6 review: Argentina and Spain pass formidable tests

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  • Two female referees make history

  • Argentina, IR Iran and Spain reach Round of 16

  • Albiceleste become the fifth nation to score 150 goals in the competition


Friday, 17 September Group E Spain 4-2 Japan Angola 1-4 Paraguay Group F IR Iran 4-2 USA Argentina 4-2 Serbia



Goalkeeper gets marching orders before boot ends up in net IR Iran are sticking with the same tough playing style they adopted in Colombia five years ago, when they collected 13 yellow cards – more than any other team – en route to third place. With just two matches played, they have already amassed five yellow and two red cards, with Iranian goalkeeper Alireza Samimi sent for an early bath less than two minutes into today’s game. While Luciano Gonzalez scored USA’s first two goals at this tournament, the ball was not the only thing that Team Melli slotted into the back of the US net. At one point, Iran captain Ali Hassan Zadeh missed the target with the ball, instead sending his boot flying into the goal. The Asian side eventually recovered from a nightmare start and a few nervy moments to book their place in the Round of 16 and keep their title hopes alive. A captivating blend of physicality and technical skill Referees Maria Estefania Pinto and Valeria Palma were kept extremely busy as they became the first women ever to officiate a FIFA Futsal World Cup™ match . A total of 19 fouls were committed during an intense encounter between Spain and Japan, with both teams subsequently awarded direct free-kicks. Yet the match was as technically impressive as it was physical. Both sides scored stunning goals, while Francisco Solano showed breath-taking skill to set up Spain’s equaliser at 2-2. The Spanish magicians ultimately conjured up a win from this close-fought game to book their place in the last 16, while Japan still have a good chance of joining them in the knockout stages for the first time since 2012 if they can maintain their current form. 50 in 150 – Argentina reach new heights thanks to well-timed time-out A bright start from the Serbians caught reigning world champions Argentina off guard, as they conceded a goal for the first time at this tournament, having emphatically beaten USA 11-0 in their opening match. After the Albiceleste fell behind for a second time, coach Matias Luciux called a time-out that seemed to get his team playing freely at last. The result was two quick goals to turn the match on its head. The goal netted by Constantino “Kiki” Vaporaki was Argentina’s 150th in only their 50th World Cup match – a milestone that only four teams have reached before. It was a game that had everything: goals, spectacular saves, red cards and fantastic combination play from both sides. The South Americans’ ability to emerge victorious from this top-quality encounter and book their place in the Round of 16 with one group match still to play speaks volumes for their class. Quick thinking by Paraguay causes frustration for Angola Everything moved a little too fast for Angola today. The African side’s defenders were caught napping when Paraguay took a quick free-kick and scored to give themselves a two-goal lead. This enraged Angola coach Rui Sampaio, who left his players in no doubt about his feelings on the matter during a time-out. Yet his attempt to wake up his side proved futile as Paraguay bounced back well from their opening defeat to give themselves a decent chance of reaching the knockout stages.


"Spain are one of the favourites for this tournament, so to have performed the way we did in a tough match that could have gone either way gives us plenty of confidence." Arthur


Up next

Saturday, 18 September (local times) 

Group B  Guatemala-RFU, 18:00, Kaunas Egypt-Uzbekistan, 18:00, Vilnius Group A Venezuela-Kazakhstan, 20:00, Vilnius  Costa Rica-Lithuania, 20:00, Kanaus