Kochi 5s sneaks into Premier Futsal semifinal

Kochi 5s (5 points) advanced alongside Kolkata 5s (6 pts) from Group ‘B’, while an unlucky Chennai 5s (2 pts) was shown the door.

Chennai 5s player Camilo (yellow) and Míchel Salgado of Kochi 5s battle during a Premier Futsal match in Mapusa on Thursday.   -  Special Arrangement

A heart-stopping injury-time goal from Chaguinha earned Kochi 5s a Premier Futsal semifinal spot here at the Pedem Sports Complex on Thursday.

Chennai 5s, which needed a victory to go through, went 3-2 up after Romulo found the net in the 39th minute. Kochi, on the brink of elimination, scurried forward with urgency. In the melee, the ball fell to Chaguinha well outside the box. The pivot pulled the trigger, and his strike sneaked in between the goalkeeper’s legs.

Kochi 5s (5 points) advanced alongside Kolkata 5s (6 pts) from Group ‘B’, while an unlucky Chennai 5s (2 pts) was shown the door.

In the first match of the day, host Goa 5s put it across Bengaluru 5s 3-0. Cafu, who replaced Ronaldinho in the Goa 5s squad, made an impressive debut, and the sizable crowd at the venue loved every minute of it. The unit’s custodian, Bebe, had a terrific outing as well, judging the angle to perfection to stop several attempts on goal.

Goa’s Rafael — he possesses a spectacular step-over move, and is not afraid to use it — provided the highlight when he let loose from distance to find the back of the net. Local lad Michael Silva too had his moment in the sun, when he pounced on a deflection to get on the scoresheet.

Friday is a rest day, with the semifinal encounters to be held on Saturday.

Semifinal line-up (Saturday):

Mumbai 5s v Kolkata 5s; Goa 5s v Kochi 5s

The result:

Goa 5s 3 (Michael Silva, Rafael, Vampeta) bt Bengaluru 5s 0;

Kochi 5s 3 (Moraes, Chaguinha 2) drew with Chennai 5s 3 (Romulo, Camilo, Nanda).

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