Scholes rewinds the clock as Bengaluru holds Kolkata

Kolkata 5s played out a 1-1 draw against Bengaluru 5s and Ryan Giggs led Mumbai 5s edge out Kochi 5s 6-4.

Paul Scholes (green and white jersey) in action against Kolkata 5s in the Premier futsal league.   -  Special arrangement

What is expected from a marquee player? Is he roped in just for his star value, or is he expected to contribute significantly on the field as well?

These questions came to the fore when Kolkata 5s played out a 1-1 draw against Bengaluru 5s in the Premier Futsal here on Wednesday.

While Kolkata’s Hernan Crespo - reportedly hampered by an injury - looked out of place, his rival heavyweight, Paul Scholes, looked the part.

Scholes, who spent two glorious decades at Manchester United before hanging up his boots in 2013, was sharp on his feet.

Despite featuring in only half the match, Scholes impressed with back-heel passes, rasping shots and speedy attacking bursts.

The crowd at the Pedem Sports Complex rallied behind the 41-year-old, chanting “Shoot, shoot” every time he got a touch. The Englishman even scurried back on defence, stripping the ball from unsuspecting opposition pivots.

“Scholes is - first and foremost - a winner. When he enters the locker room before a match, he does not even say ‘Hi’. He just tells us that we need to win,” his teammate, Nabil Akaazoun, explained.

Crespo, on the other hand, was a let down. Not for the first time in this tournament, his passes were inaccurate, and his movement sluggish.

What an uncomfortable sight it is to see the decorated Argentinian being easily stripped of possession by players he would have once gobbled for breakfast.

The fortunes of the teams, however, remains paramount. On that count, Crespo holds the edge. The draw gives Kolkata a semifinal spot, while Scholes and Bengaluru need a win over Goa on Thursday to stand a chance of making the cut.

In the second encounter of the day, Ryan Giggs and Mumbai 5s edged out Kochi 5s 6-4.

Mumbai, already through to the knockout round, was once again well-served by Foglia, who notched his second successive hat-trick. Giggs, yet another Manchester United legend, could not get on the scoresheet, but made his presence felt.

With the fixture level at 3-3, Mumbai surged ahead through goals from Chanpreet and Angellot. Though Kochi pulled one back, the match was put to bed by Foglia, who converted on a counter-attack.

The result:

Kolkata 5s 1 (Pula) drew with Bengaluru 5s 1 (Johnathon Piers);

Mumbai 5s 6 (Foglia 3, Chanpreeet, Angellot, Ramirez) bt Kochi 5s 4 (Deivis Moraes 2, Chaguinha 2).

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