Premier Futsal: Kochi 5s defeats Mumbai 5s

A resilient Kochi 5s, under the stewardship of Real Madrid legend Salgado, defeated Mumbai 5s 4-1 on the second day at Premier Futsal. The game was close till the end of the third quarter but an early blitzkrieg by Salgado’s men ensured all three points for Kochi.

Deives Moracs (centre) of Kochi celebrates with teammates after scoring a goal against Mumbai at the Nehru Indoor Stadium in Chennai.   -  M. Vedhan

Ryan Giggs’s Mumbai 5s had impressed against tournament favourites Chennai in the opening match but the team could not maintain momentum against a resilient Kochi, which under the stewardship of Real Madrid legend Salgado, performed admirably to beat Mumbai 4-1.

>Read: Kolkata and Bengaluru play out a draw

The game was close till the end of the third quarter but an early blitzkrieg by Salgado’s men ensured all three points for Kochi.

The first quarter started slowly with both teams keen on keeping the ball. Salgado’s men had bulk of the possession. Deives Moraes tried an audacious chip that narrowly missed the goal. At the other end, Giggs was making the difference. He had a chip that was stopped by a last ditch effort from the defender while Foglia produced another off-the-line scramble after a neat turn inside the penalty box. The first half ended goalless.

The second quarter was a repeat of the first - a lot of attempts were being made but none good enough to break the deadlock. Last night’s Man of the Match Foglia threatened with some good attempts, including a bicycle kick.

The only significant action of the quarter was the first orange (yellow card equivalent) of the tournament, which was given to Angellot for a deliberate handball. Salgado, who was looking the liveliest for Kochi, had an attempt from the resultant free-kick saved by the keeper.

Livelier second half

The second half proved livelier than the first. Mumbai 5s committed five fouls and Deives stepped-up to score the penalty. But Mumbai was in no mood to give up the fight, with Giggs rolling back the years with some turns and flicks. The team got its equaliser when Foglia found Angellot unmarked in the penalty box. He walked the ball inside for a goal and thus ended the third quarter 1-1.

Kochi started the final quarter with an all-out attack and the team’s tactics paid rich dividends. Deives, who was having a stellar night both in defence and attack, ran through the right flank to slot one past ‘keeper Amado.

The legendary futsal keeper was having an off night and was beaten easily again by Gekabert through yet another run in the right flank. The keeper was substituted for the ball-playing Perez. Having an additional ball player meant Mumbai attacked more, but it meant the team was more prone to counter attacks. And that was exactly what happened when Salgado broke free to round the keeper and score Kochi’s fourth.