Premier Futsal: Goa 5s plunders Bengaluru 5s 7-2

Ronaldinho inspired Goa 5s to a 7-2 rout of Paul Scholes' Bengaluru 5s at the Nehru Indoor Stadium in Chennai.

The second session was dominated by Ronaldinho.   -  PTI

The match was built up as an encounter between two of the finest midfielders the world has ever seen. Goa’s Ronaldinho, who has his roots in Futsal, against Bengaluru’s Paul Scholes, a member of Manchester United’s famous class of 92.

But the game itself turned out to be a completely different story as Ronaldinho inspired a 7-2 rout of Bengaluru. The former Barcelona midfielder rolled back the years with some characterstic Samba flair and was the stand-out performer of the match.

The first quarter started with the crowd going berserk over every touch taken by legends Scholes and Ronaldinho. Chennai was in a mood to celebrate and Ronaldinho was only happy to oblige. He showed magical control and presence of mind to outwit the keeper from four yards outside the goal to give Goa the lead.

Maxi soon levelled the scores, though, and reminded the audience why he is regarded as one of world’s finest futsal player when he fooled the opposition keeper and dink the ball into back of the net.

Ronaldinho's session

The second quarter exploded into life early on when Indian talent Jonathan scored a goal after some clever interchanges between Maxi and Neto. But the session clearly belonged to Ronaldinho. The Brazilian was in excellent form and scored the next two goals to give Goa the lead 3-2. The first goal was a neat finish into the bottom corner from 9 yards out. The second was started when the Brazilian squared up Raphael who returned the pass in the form of a delicious ball from the left-flank which Ronaldinho finished with style.

The third quarter was perhaps the best quarter played in the entire tournament so far but it produced no goals. Ronaldinho continued his good work and produced some out-of-the-world passes as Goa looked menacing. Unfortunately for Bengaluru, Neto pulled a thigh muscle and had to be substituted. Without his calm presence in the back, Bengaluru looked fragile and out of steam.

The fourth quarter was all about Ronaldinho. The Brazilian produced a delicious lob over the keeper to make it four for the Goan side. Indian talent Fredsan, who also scored in Goa’s first match, capitalised on the free space he was offered in the box to convert a Vampeta cross into a goal.

Bengaluru was clearly on the back foot and the frustration led the team to committing its fifth foul. Ronaldinho stepped up to take the subsequent penalty but had his effort saved by the keeper. But Raphael, who had an outstanding night with Ronaldinho, scored the sixth for Goa from inside the penalty box. At the other end, Nabil produced an acrobatic save out of the opposition keeper.

Ronaldinho was not done for the night, though, as he scored off a stunning counter-attack.

'Great'

Goa goalkeeper Bebe was effusive in his praise for Ronaldinho. "Unique opportunity, to play with a Ballon d'or winner, he scored 5 goals today and it was great."

Bebe also said it is 'crazy to be a futsal keeper'. "You have to be crazy to be a futsal keeper. Powerful shots from less distance..focus more on shot stopping..and the goal is small so have to adjust accordingly, its more difficult to be a futsal goalkeeper."

Man of the Match: Ronaldinho