Day seven at the FIFA Futsal World Cup 2012 brought joy for Portugal, Ukraine and Paraguay, who all reached the last 16. Hosts Thailand finished third in Group A after defeat to the South Americans and now face a nervous wait over the coming days before they learn their fate.
Despite losing 3-1 to Brazil in Group C, Portugal followed the defending champions into the knockout stages. Japan's victory means they too are already sure of a spot in the last 16 as one of the best third-placed sides.
The tournament hosts will be keeping a close eye on proceedings in the next few days following their 3-2 defeat against Paraguay. Thailand ended up in third in Group A and are now reliant on at least two other third-placed teams finishing with an inferior record. By way of contrast, group winners Ukraine and runners-up Paraguay can follow events rather more calmly and start scouting out their potential opponents.
ResultsJapan 4-2 Libya
Portugal 1-3 Brazil
Paraguay 3-2 Thailand
Costa Rica 1-3 Ukraine
Goal of the day*Brazil - Portugal, 1-1, Cardinal 13'27"
*Any futsal fan going to watch Brazil play could normally expect to be treated to any number of skills and flicks from the reigning champions. But in the Korat Chatchai Hall, Portugal were not afraid to strut their stuff either. Ricardinho and Cardinal played their way past their Brazilian opponents with a combination of swift one-twos, before the latter's first-time strike, his sixth goal of the tournament, brought the scores level.
Memorable moments*The little trumpeter
*DJ, a nine-year-old trumpet player, is sure to have a bright future as an entertainer. Prior to game between Japan and Libya at Bangkok's Huamark Indoor Stadium, the youngster delighted the crowd with his instrument, playing song after song before the spectators showed their appreciation with a rapturous round of applause.
Team spirit is usually mentioned as one of the key elements of success in any side, and Thailand demonstrated their togetherness in their decisive game against Paraguay. Kritsada Wongkaeo was unable to participate due to suspension, having already received two yellow cards, but his team-mates showed he was still part of the group by holding up his No7 shirt for the pre-match team photo.
*Stat of the day 13 - Brazil's victory over Portugal established a new record for the most consecutive victories at a FIFA Futsal World Cup, surpassing the previous best, set by Spain. Since beating continental rivals Argentina in Chinese Taipei on 5 December 2004, the South Americans have won all of their games, including their penalty shootout triumph over Spain in the final on home soil four years ago.
The words"I told my players that they should win the game before they started thinking about the goal difference," Japan coach Miguel Rodrigo.