Mixed Fortunes For Futsal Teams
The Australian men’s and women’s national Futsal teams have enjoyed mixed fortunes with the Qantas Futsalroos completing their fixtures at the 2004 FIFA World Futsal Championship without a win, while their female counterparts have claimed the inaugural 12-team Cheetah Cup in Belgium following a dramatic penalty shoot out.
The Australian men-s and women-s national Futsal teams have enjoyed mixed fortunes with the Qantas Futsalroos completing their fixtures at the 2004 FIFA World Futsal Championship without a win, while their female counterparts have claimed the inaugural 12-team Cheetah Cup in Belgium following a dramatic penalty shoot out.
The Australian Women's Futsal team won the invitational tournament in Lommel by defeating the Dutch National League Champions Nieuwedam 2-1 in a three-kick penalty shoot-out. Goalkeeper Kate Greenacre starred pulling off two saves in the shoot-out. Scores had been locked at 2-2 after extra time with goals from captain Jodie Hammond and Qantas Matilda April Mann.
The team improved with every performance on the brief 11-day tour of Belgium and Holland where they played matches against teams from Russia, Ukraine, Holland, Belgium, Scotland and Germany.
The Qantas Futsalroos, looking for their first win in a FIFA Futsal World Championship for 12 years, were hoping to repeat their 3-1 win over Thailand achieved three weeks ago in Brazil, however they finished on the wrong end of a five goal thriller losing 3-2 in Taiwan City.
In a match that could have gone either way both the Australian goalkeeper Gavin O-Brien (pictured above), who turned in another outstanding performance, and his opposite number in the Thai goal were constantly called into action. Despite the goalmouth action scores remained deadlocked at the interval after Adrian Vizzari had come closest for the Qantas Futsalroos with his shot hitting the frame of the goal.
Thailand finally opened the scoring four minutes after the break however Vizzari equalised just a minute later with a shot from an acute angle.
In a remarkable and thrilling finale three goals were scored in the final minute of the match. After Thailand went a goal ahead, Australia thought they had locked up scores at 2-2, however Damian Pilat, not only had his goal disallowed, but being his team-s sixth foul of the half meant that Thailand were awarded a penalty from which they went 3-1 ahead. Moments later Ben Singleton scored from point-blank range to reduce the arrears and there was still time for replacement goalkeeper Peter Spathis to save another spot kick before the final whistle. Thailand finished victors consigning Australia to bottom spot in Group C of the 16-team tournament.
Brazil and the Czech Republic progressed from the group having defeated Australia 10-0 and 5-0 earlier in the week. They will be joined in the quarter finals by Spain, Ukraine, Italy, USA, Argentina and Portugal.
Thailand 3 (Munjarern 24-, Piemkum 37-, Polsak 40- 2nd penalty) Australia 2 (Vizzari 25-, Singleton 40-)
Australia starting five: Gavin O-Brien (gk), Brett Hewit, Ben Singleton, Lachlan Wright, Adrian Vizzari Substitutes: Elliot Zwangobani, Damian Pilat, Simon Keith, Paul Lombardo, Andrew Nolan, Peter Spathis (gk), Luke Haydon Not in line-up: Scott Manson, Danny Ngaluafe Cautions: Pilat 40- TV COVERAGE IN AUSTRALIA : SBS-TV :
Saturday 4 December @12:05am SEMI Final #1 & #2 - DELAYED all Centres
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