Both Mumbai and Hernan Crespo’s men won their openers by a 4-2 margin…
The Premier Futsal carnival got underway to a magnificent atmosphere earlier today in Chennai as Mumbai 5s beat Goa by 4-2 in the opening game. Manchester United great Ryan Giggs was in fine form on his futsal debut as he led his charges to what was a commanding win.
The Mumbaikars dominated the game from start to finish with Giggs at his commanding best orchestrating his team’s movement with a variety of tricks and flicks. The winger dazzled with his impeccable close control and trademark first touch to pick out his teammates with seamless ease. Giggs who recently left the Red Devils acclimatised well to his surroundings dictating the play from the off and he was at the centre of most of Mumbai’s good work. The creative ace unselfishly set up the star of the game Foglia for his brace in the third quarter while he was also involved in the brains trust that lead to Kevin Ramirez netting a fourth goal for his team. Giggs adapted swiftly to the pitch and if you did not know otherwise you could hardly tell that this was the veteran’s first futsal outing.
Mumbai hit their stride from the word go and their opponents Chennai led by Futsal legend Falcao struggled to find the net before eventually doing so late in the fourth quarter through Filho. Falcao also got on the score sheet soon after with a stunner. But, the late surge was not enough to see the hosts mount a comeback in the game and the side from the metropolis registered a deserved win. Another man they can surely thank is goalkeeper Luis Amado who was in stellar form between the sticks, driving home the importance of a quality shot-stopper in this 5-a-side contest.
Hernan Crespo steals Ronaldinho’s thunder
Kolkata met Ronaldinho’s Goa in the second game of the evening with the outfit from West Bengal running out 4-2 winners. Indeed, with all the spotlight on the Brazilian ace it was the Kolkata-based side that were quickest out of the blocks with Pula and Mohammed Islam putting them into a 2-0 lead inside the opening quarter. Islam also became the first Indian to net at the event. However, in what was a seesawing affair Rafael pulled a goal back for Goa on 21 minutes only for former Chelsea forward Hernan Crespo to restore his side’s two-goal cushion minutes later. But, the Goans hit back on the stroke of the third quarter through Santos. With just one goal separating the two teams heading into the last 10 minutes fans were anticipating a close finish, but it was Crespo’s men who held out even netting a fourth thanks to an unlucky own goal by Marshall to seal a vital first win. Goa’s marquee acquisition will be hoping for better days in the week ahead with the Samba magician sitting out the third quarter.
Giggs was undoubtedly the winner in the ‘Battle of the Stars’ on opening day, while it was Crespo who stole the show in Ronaldinho’s comeback party.
Report by Khel Now-Content Editor Mrunal Nakashe. A sports buff, he’s also a foreign policy enthusiast and keen North Korea watcher. Mrunal loves gaming, reading, traveling and is a self-confessed Football Manager addict. You can follow him on Twitter.