Colombia have caused a major upset at Thailand 2012 with a shock 2-1 victory over Iran at Bangkok’s Nimibutr Stadium. The South Americans can now look forward to a quarter-final against Ukraine after a win that, once again, proved that the only statistic that counts in football is the scoreline.
Iran were, after all, the game’s dominant force, monopolising possession and scoring attempts. But they faced an inspired keeper in Juan Lozano, and a tactical approach that paid dividends. The South Americans’ game-plan was evidently to sit deep and hit on the counter-attack, and ten minutes into the second half it produced the desired result.
With Iran having committed bodies forward, a long throw from the heroic Lozano found Yefri Duque in a one-on-one with Mostafa Nozari, and the Colombia No4 managed to angle his shot into the far corner. Stunned at falling behind, Iran were to find themselves in an even worse position soon after when a straight red card for Mostafa Tayyebi gave Los Cafateros a chance to increase their lead.
It was an opportunity they did not pass up, with Angellot Caro ensuring that the numerical advantage was fully utilised when he fired into the net from Jhonatan Toro’s pass. Iran refused to accept defeat though and pulled a goal back through Ali Rahnama, whose powerful shot beat the seemingly impenetrable Lozano low to his right.
However, Colombia held out for a result that sparked wild celebrations, and which already ranks among the biggest upsets in the history of this competition.
“Colombia played the entire game with a defensive formation and when they got the ball, they just cleared it away. It was a great day for Colombia goalkeeper and a bad day for us,” Ali Sanei, Iran coach.
“We didn’t play a perfect match because they created a lot of chances. But we were opportunistic and scored goals at key moments. We might not have played the most beautiful futsal but we know our strengths and what we needed to do to win the match. This is a historic moment for Colombia and we are not done yet,” Arney Fonnegra, Colombia coach.