Brazil are the first team guaranteed a spot in the Round of 16 at the FIFA Futsal World Cup Thailand 2012. The South Americans cruised to a 13-0 victory over Libya and are now certain to make the next round with six points at the top of Group C. Portugal were seemingly set to emulate their South American group rivals, but the Europeans tossed away a comfortable 5-1 lead against Japan and now depend on results in the final round of matches, when they face no less a challenge than the goal-hungry Brazilians.
Costa Rica staged a similar if less spectacular comeback in their Group A encounter. The Central Americans were 2-0 down to Paraguay at half-time, but ended up celebrating a 6-3 victory. The man of the match at Indoor Stadium Huamark in Bangkok was Edwin Cubillo with three excellent goals. Ukraine's victory over hosts Thailand in the parallel fixture means the last round of matches in this group includes a genuine do-or-die affair.
The fourth matchday featured 40 goals, the most on a single day at the tournament so far, with Brazil's Fernandinho the most prolific player as he hit four goals in his side's thumping win.
Paraguay 3-6 Costa Rica
Thailand 3-5 Ukraine
Portugal 5-5 Japan
Brazil 13-0 Libya
Goal of the day
Paraguay-Costa Rica, Edwin Cubillo (30'41)
Costa Rica hitman Cubillo was the eye-catching player in the meeting with Paraguay. He contributed hugely to the Central Americans’ fine comeback with two assists and a goal, but topped even that when doubling his personal tally. After the Paraguay keeper had come out of his goal, his mishit pass fell at Cubillo’s feet.
The striker instantly returned the ball from the edge of his own area, watching as his shot sailed practically the length of the pitch and into the empty Paraguay net. His third goal in the 6-3 victory was almost a carbon copy of the second as he again lobbed the opposing custodian.
Thanks for your support
The Thailand futsal national team have enjoyed tremendous support so far. Once again, a huge throng of fans packed into the Bangkok stadium to witness the hosts’ meeting with Ukraine. By way of thank you to the fans at the World Cup in their home country, the Thai players threw armbands in national colours into the crowd prior to the match, drawing frenetic applause in return. Ukraine then pooped the party by taking a 5-0 half-time lead, but the Thai fans politely applauded each of the five goals, and later hailed their side’s spirited fightback with a Mexican wave at the end - a stunning display of sportsmanship and fair play.
You win some, you lose some
Paraguay and Japan opted to try out one of futsal’s new laws today, with sharply contrasting outcomes: for Japan, it led to an ultimately deserved equaliser, but in Paraguay's case, the result was a disaster. The new rule allows goalkeepers to leave their areas and cover the entire pitch, supporting the outfield players in attacking positions. Paraguay's Gabriel Ayala pulled on the keeper’s shirt and joined his team in attack, but the South Americans lost possession not once but twice, allowing Tico sharpshooter Cubillo to score two spectacular long-range goals. However, when the Japanese tried the same move, the introduction of Nobuya Osodo as keeper ultimately contributed to the last-gasp equaliser.
Stat of the day
49 - The number of seconds which passed before Portugal scored their first goal against Japan. It was the fastest goal of the tournament to date and was a terrific effort too: Ricardinho used the sole of his foot to play the ball back to Cardinal on the right flank. He squared to the lurking Joao Matos, who duly slotted home from close range.
“As I said to my players at half-time, ‘score the first goal and the rest will follow automatically’," Costa Rica coach Diego Solis on his team’s remarkable comeback against Paraguay.
Monday 5 November 2012 (all times given are local)