Kochi 5s beat co-hosts Goa 5s 2-1 in the second Premier Futsal semifinal at the Peddem Indoor Stadium in Mapusa, Goa on Saturday night to seal a spot in the final. They will now take on Ryan Giggs’ Mumbai 5s on Sunday.
The game was literally a battle between two legends – Kochi 5s Michel Salgado and Goa 5s Cafu. The duo may have been retired for years but they went toe-to-toe on the pitch and the crowd witnessed a physical battle of proportions not seen before in the tournament.
Salgado was at his very best and ever-present on the pitch as he ran things for the Kochi side while Cafu also had his chances on goal to give the home side the lead but the first quarter ended 0-0.
However, Kochi soon took the lead with a scintillating goal from Chaguinha. Running across the pitch with the ball and under pressure from Rafael, Chaguinha chipped the ball past the advancing goalkeeper Bebe to find the back of the net. Rafael almost made up for his error at the other end when he let fly a fierce strike that beat Casalone but came off the post.
The second half saw Goa quickly find their foothold in the game and it was Vampeta who scored the equaliser. A patient build-up saw him play a one-two with Georgievsky saw him receive the ball near the edge of the area and fire in a thunderous shot that found the roof of the net.
But the lead did not last long. A bit of complacency saw Chaguinha steal in between the defence and goalkeeper Bebe to simply put his foot in the way to prevent the goalkeeper from holding on to the ball. The move worked and the ball trickled into the goal uncontested to give Kochi the lead for the second time.
Goa threw everything they could at Kochi in the final quarter but just couldn’t find the target. A deflected shot came off the underside of the bar while a penalty call for a foul on Cafu was waved away by the referees. If they did find a way through, Casalone stood strong in goal.
Kochi managed to hold on in spite of sustained pressure from Goa and the final whistle saw the Kochi players celebrate with their inspirational player Salgado while Cafu was denied a chance to play in the final. Chaguinha also became the top goalscorer and took the Golden Armband after his eighth goal in the tournament.
(Premier Futsal Press Release)