Giggs-led Mumbai defeats Chennai in inaugural game

The event kicked-off with reputed music composer A. R. Rahman performing the Futsal anthem live in front of a crowd which had gathered at the Jawaharlal Nehru indoor stadium to capture a glimpse of their football stars in action.

Foglia (L) of Mumbai and Romulo of Chennai in action during Premier Futsal.   -  R. Ragu

The inaugural match of Premier Futsal got off to swashbuckling start, here on Friday, as Ryan Giggs-led Mumbai 5s beat Falcao’s Chennai 5s 4-2.

The event kicked-off with reputed music composer A. R. Rahman performing the Futsal anthem live in front of a crowd which had gathered at the Jawaharlal Nehru indoor stadium to capture a glimpse of their football stars in action.

> Report: Crespo's Kolkata beats Goa

The first quarter started with a lot of spur but very little end product. Falcao was on the bench for Chennai while Giggs started for Mumbai. The Manchester United legend looked a little lost amongst the uber-quick futsal players.

The first close chance of the match was created by Mumbai futsal star Foglia. After finding some space on the right-wing, he tried a delicious lob over the keeper, only for the ball to hit the post and go wide. Falcao came on and inspired some delicious chances for Chennai.

Mumbai was awarded a penalty after a drive from Ramirez struck the arms of an unfortunate Romulo. Foglia, who looked the best player on the field, stepped-up and comfortably slotted the ball past a hapless keeper from nine yards.

The second quarter was exactly the same as the first. Falcao and Romulo tried to force things for Chennai but Mumbai got a crucial early goal when Angellot rounded the keeper to hit into an empty net. The trio of Ramirez, Angellot and Foglia were looking menacing for Mumbai. Amongst the Indians, Nandha Kumar looked the most threatening.

The first half ended 2-0 in favour of Mumbai.

The second half started with a bang and both teams were finding more space to work on. Angellot had a left-footed drive deflected off the post while at the opposite end Cirilo drew a fabulous save out of ‘keeper Luis Amado.

Giggs then rolled back the years when he created some space on the left-wing to provide an assist for Foglia. Falcao produced a cracking save out of Amado, who looked like he had no intentions to let in a goal. The Brazilian had a volley narrowly missed as well.

The last quarter was all about Falcao. Or almost. Mumbai kept the pattern of scoring in every half when Foglia found Ramirez free in the left-wing from a free-kick. Ramirez thrashed the ball into the top right corner.

Falcao then proved to the Chennai audience why he is regarded as one of the world’s best futsallers when he dazzled the crowd with some audacious moves. His scissors cut attempt deflected off the keeper to fall kindly for Cirilo who opened the account for Chennai. Later Falcao added his name to the scoresheet when he hit one into the top corner.

Chennai made a few more attempts but the game ended 4-2 in favour of Mumbai.

Will come back strongly

After the match, Chennai legend Falcao conceded that his team took its oppositiong lightly. "We had come with pre-conceived notions. That we were probably better than the opposition. That was not a positive attitude. Only when we went down 2-0 at half-time did we show a fighting spirit. The second half was a closer game. We will come back strongly for the next game and concentrate harder. You also have to understand that we were playing against (Luis) Amado, who is a legendary keeper," said Falcao.

Man of the match: Foglia