Favourites Brazil and Spain will meet in the final of the Futsal World Cup, but they didn’t have it all their own way in the semi’s.
Brazil 4-2 Russia
Both semi-finals were played in Rio, at the Maracanazinho stadium (little Maracana). First on was Brazil against Russia, both teams had played against each other in the first stage of the competition, and Brazil won the first encounter 7 nil.
Russia were determined not to make things easy for the Brazilians this time, but playing at home, Brazil had a lot to prove and it was the South Americans who set the pace. Within two minutes Brazil created the first goal opportunity but the post saved Russia.
The first goal came two minutes later; Grabriel assisted Schumacher who nailed past the keeper, 1 nil Brazil. Falcao doubled the lead after receiving a pinpoint pass from Vinicius. The same Falcao got the crowd on its feet after executing an overhead kick that almost went in.
After good play from Russia, Pula took the ball to the right and struck, the ball went under the legs of the Brazilian goalkeeper Tiago, 2-1 to Brazil and goal number 16 for Pula. Brazil managed to score another before the break, Vinicius headed in a cross from Ari, 3-1 Brazil.
In the second half it was the Russians who scored first, the goal changing the match. Brazil lost confidence and the Russians were quick to see that and went in search of the equaliser, silence and tension took over the stadium. Relief came for the local supporters with just 2 minutes left on the clock. Gabriel received on the left and fired home the fourth which secured Brazil’s place in the grand final on Sunday. End result Brazil 4-2 Russia.
Italy 2-3 Spain AET
The second semi-final was between Italy and Spain, the game was a replay of the last Futsal World Cup Final, which Spain won 3-2.
This time the Italians were determined not to let the same happen again. With passes and good movement off the ball the Italians was getting close to the first goal, although the Spaniards were looking resolute with an organized defence Spain, waiting for the right moment to strike.
It wasn’t long before that right moment came, after a mistake by the Italians. Daniel collected the ball and hammered in the first for the Spaniards. The goal made Italy adopt a more defensive posture allowing Spain to control the first half.
Italy started the second half the same way they started the first, but this time more effectively and after good individual play by Foglia the Italians levelled the scores.
With neither team managing to score in normal time the game went to extra time, Spain scored first through Fernandao, but with just over a minute left to play Italy equalised through Grana.
With the game looking like it would be decided in a penalty shout out, Foglia scored an own goal, dramatically giving the lead and the place in the final to Spain. The Italians protested that when the ball went in the clock was on 0 but the ref did not go back on his decision. End Result Italy 2-3 Spain.