Argentina trounced Portugal in the futsal World Cup yesterday in the semi-finals and has now reached the final for the first time in the country’s history. The decisive 5-2 victory in Colombia saw Diego Giustozzi’s squad safely bag a spot for next Saturday’s match against fellow first-timers, Russia. Favorites Brazil and Spain were knocked out earlier in the tournament.
Here’s a quick round-up of the game:
Cristian Borruto put the Argentines ahead in 4 minutes with a skilful chip of the Portuguese keeper. Four minutes later, Portugal’s Ré put the teams all level. However a four minute Argentinian whirlwind followed, with goals coming from Damian Stazzone, Alamiro Vaporaki and Alan Brandi giving a comfortable 4-1 cushion by half time.
In the second half, Argentina adopted a defensive front to protect their lead. Despite this, the hunger for goals remained and at the 35-minute mark Leandro Cuzzolino put a fifth past Portugal. Although the Portuguese responded one minute later with a goal from Thiago Brito it was all too little too late. The game ended 5-2 with four yellow cards for the Portuguese and none for Argentina.
— Pasión Futsal (@pasionfutsal) September 29, 2016
Argentina has remained unbeaten throughout the tournament. The country came out on top of its group, with a 1-0 win against Kazakhstan, a 7-3 goal-fest against the Soloman Islands and a 2-2 draw with Costa Rica. A 1-0 win against Ukraine in the final 16, followed by a decisive 5-0 victory against Egypt in the quarterfinals secured a place in the semi-finals.
The closest Argentina had come to the current feat was finishing fourth in the 2004 World Cup in Taiwan. “It’s been an agonizing wait since 2004, and it would be a good way to put a smile of AFA’s face through the difficult times that they are experiencing” Diego Giustozzi told La Nación.
Five time champions Brazil were knocked out by Iran in the last 16 and two-time champions Spain were knocked out by Russia in the quarter-finals.
Last time Argentina and Russia clashed was in 2008 in Brazil, which saw the two dead-locked on a 2-2 draw.
Saturday’s game will kick-off at 4:30 PM and will be broadcast by both DirecTV and TV Pública.