THE DAY REPLAYED. Portugal became the first side to reach the semi-finals of the Women’s Youth Olympic Futsal Tournament Buenos Aires 2018, thanks to their defeat of Cameroon at the CeNARD Hall.
Though they failed to reach the heights of their previous games, the Portuguese were still in dominant form and have now given themselves two shots at winning a medal.
Meanwhile, Japan had to work hard to see off Chile and stay on course to qualify from Group D.
Cheered on by their country’s U-20 side, who are preparing for the South American Futsal Championships in their age group, the Chileans put up a solid defensive display but could not keep pace with their slick opponents.
The day’s big surprise came at the Main Futsal Hall, where Bolivia overcame Thailand in a crucial match in Group C.
Roared on by around a hundred of their compatriots, the Bolivians were applauded from the court by the large crowd, most of whom had come to see hosts Argentina in the men’s tournament.
The scorer of a stunning goal that sealed victory for her side, Maria Galvez was Bolivia’s standout performer and was ably supported by Kaye Fernandez and Michelle Pacheco.
The win has given the South Americans genuine hope of a place in the semis and a chance to battle for a medal.
Trinidad and Tobago fought out an end-to-end encounter with Tonga in the earlier match at the Main Futsal Hall, which went the way of the Caribbean side, thanks to a four-goal contribution from Afiyah Cornwall.
Both sides earned an ovation from the fans, with the winners performing a dance on the court and the losers a haka.
Did you know?
- Chile’s Grace Mora scored the first goal by a goalkeeper in the women’s competition.
- Tonga’s Seini Lutu, who was sent off against Trinidad and Tobago, was only 13 when she represented her country in an OFC U-20 women’s football championship.
- Japan-Dominican Republic, Group D, Main Futsal Hall
- Tonga-Spain, Group C, Main Futsal Hall
Spain and Japan will start as firm favourites to win their matches on Thursday. Should they do so, they will both go a long way to qualifying for the semi-finals from their respective sections.