The Goa Leg of Premier Futsal kick-started with the home team taking taking on Kolkata 5’s without their marquee player, Ronaldinho having to return home.
However, Goa came back from two goals down to earn a 2-2 draw against Kolkata as Brazilian Futsaller Vampeta scored both of Goa’s goals in a man of the match performance. Ronaldinho’s replacement Cafu was yet to arrive in India and they played the game against Kolkata without a marquee player. The Kolkata 5’s made the most of the home team short of their charismatic leader as Hernán Crespo came close to scoring within the first 2 minutes. However, Pula did not take too long to find the back of the net at 4 minutes. Akshay had a brilliant opportunity to double their lead, but he missed an open goal from 2 yards out.
Before the end of the first quarter, Kolkata finally doubled their lead. Carioca received the ball with his back to goal but an exquisite first touch helped him escape his marker and then he embarrassed the keeper by finding the gap between his legs to make it 2-0.
Kolkata started to play some real exhibition stuff as the continued to dominate Goa. Faizal was the next player to miss a great opportunity to extend the lead. After some neat passing, Faizal skewed his shot wide from a cutback. Goa slowly started to grow into the game as Kolkata started to sit back Goa kept knocking at the door as Cidao kept making save after save, but something had to give and in the 3rd quarter, it finally did.
Kolkata 5’s Marquee Player and Captain, Hernán Crespo says, “I preferred to rest and come to the Semi-finals in a better shape. We already have 5 points and even if we secure a point in the next game will take us through to the next rounds. I have faith in the team and it is important to make it right till the very end in such important tournaments.”
On the break, Vampeta had all kinds of space and he got it past the Kolkata goalkeeper with an acute finish into the far corner to make it 2-1. With 3 minutes to go in the 3rd quarter, it was 2-2. Once again, Kolkata were caught on the counter as Vampeta raced down the other end skipped past the goalkeeper who came off his line and slotted it calmly into an empty net.
Speaking to the media after the match, Vampeta said, “Cafu is a World Cup winning captain, he will bring a lot of experience with him and the team will benefit from it. We conceded two early goals and to come from there is just like win for us. Ronaldinho brings a lot of joy and energy to the team, we will surely miss him a lot. We as a team are hoping we can create some magic like he did in Chennai.”
But that’s how the game ended as neither team could find that decisive goal to win it. An exciting start to the Goa leg of the Premier Futsal League.
(Premier Futsal Press Release)