Perennial tournament participants Argentina reached their first-ever Futsal World Cup final by beating Portugal 5-2 in the semi-finals of the FIFA Futsal World Cup Colombia 2016.
Cristian Borruto opened the scoring in style with a brilliant individual effort when he lofted a ball several feet in the air over a helpless Bebe and ran around him to tap in the follow-up.
Portugal then answered with a superb team goal when Bruno Coelho played in Re with a precise pass across Argentina's goal. Portugal's star man Ricardinho, who has a tournament-leading 12 goals, was taking a breather on the bench for their equaliser. Portugal's hope would not last for long.
In a period of three minutes in the middle of the first half, Argentina were rampant and found three goals. First, they showed their effectiveness on the counter-attack when Damian Stazzone finished off an excellent team goal, his second of the tournament. Just under a minute later, Alamiro Vaporaki guided in a fierce shot from Leandro Cuzzolino with his chest from close range into the open goal. Alan Brandi made it four for La Albiceleste after some sloppy defending from Portugal.
Portugal's porous backline was shocking, as they had conceded just four goals all tournament, so they were left stunned to have conceded four in just one half of a match with such high stakes.
"We did not perform the transition as we should,” said Portugal coach Jorge Braz. “And when we tied, we thought that everything was done, but there was a lot of playing ahead. We missed a lot of opportunities and gave away three goals. When you do that in a semi-final, most of the time, you will lose."
Argentina were then happy to invite Portugal's offensive pressure in the second half and rely on their defence, which has been solid all tournament. Goalkeeper Nicolas Sarmiento and Argentina were up to the challenge of stopping Ricardinho and Co throughout the evening. When Cardinal struck the upright early in the second half, there was a feeling in Cali that it was not Portugal's night. Cuzzolino then scored with five minutes left to end Portugal's dreams of reaching the final.
Tiago Brito scored from a second chance effort late on, but Argentina were too much for Portugal on the night, and it will be the South Americans with the chance to lift the trophy in Colombia.
"It was not our best match, but we did what we had to do,” Sarmiento said. “The tactic did not work very well, but our heart lead to the victory."
There will be a first-time Futsal World Cup champion when Argentina and Russia play in the final in Cali on Saturday 1 October at 14:30 (local time). Portugal will face Iran in the match for third place earlier on the same day.