Falcao Dazzles, Brazilian clubs win big on Day 1 at the Intercontinental Cup in the U.S.A.
The 2013 Intercontinental Cup in Greensboro, North Carolina opened up with a pair of Brazilian clubs winning their opening matches. It was the first time Falcao has appeared on a North American court and he did not disappoint. Includes pictures, link to free match videos.
By: Kris Fernandes
Photos: Kathleen George
Greensboro, USA – After a brief scare due to a customs issue forced tournament organizers to work overtime in preparing the main court for the tournament the 2013 Intercontinental Futsal Cup got underway Thursday evening. The wooden rectangular futsal tiles coming in from Spain were held up at the border and as a result, the workers were busy putting together the court until yesterday evening.
The first match featured Brazil’s most storied futsal club in Carlos Barbosa as they faced off against World United from the U.S. The Americans were a late addition to the tournament after Boca Juniors from Argentina had to pull out at the last minute due. United had last played in the 2007 Intercontinental Cup and also gave the home crowd a domestic team to support.
The underdog Americans gave a strong account of themselves in a first half that saw a lot of energy put forth by both squads with Barbosa leading the majority of chances on goal, however, failing to capitalize on most. Coach Vava Marques’ crew of non-professional futsallers put up a valiant effort on defence but were unable to hold off the defending tournament champions and went down 1-0 at half. Marques had recently returned from England as an integral part of the U.S. team that won a four nations tournament featuring Poland, England and Malaysia.
Whatever Barbosa Coach Paulo Cesar Mussalem said during the break certainly worked as his squad stepped up their game considerably and were able to generate five quality unanswered goals including an absolute stunner by Luizinho to go up 6-0.
United pulled one back when Enrique Tovar scored and attempted to pressure further by substituting goalkeeper Daniel Waltman for an attacking player. But the damage was already been done as the momentum had already swung completely in favour of the Brazilians as they marched on to a 9-2 win in their opening game.
PLAYER OF THE MATCH FOR CARLOS BARBOSA: Daniel
PLAYER OF THE MATCH FOR WORLD UNITED: Daniel Waltman
Falcao Makes North American Debut
Though the excitement and rapid growth of futsal in North America was already an attraction itself, fans in attendance all came to see one man.
The legendary Falcao has become the unofficial ambassador for the sport in many parts of the world and this tournament is his grand entrance to a hungry American audience curious about the growing phenomenon that is futsal. They wanted to see the man dubbed as “The Michael Jordan of Futsal.” Therefore it was only fitting that Falcao would be playing in the same arena that Michael Jordan had one of his most famous games 30 years ago.
His undisputed status as the most famous futsal player of all time comes primarily from a wild array of skills and sensational goals made famous on YouTube that spread like wildfire due to word of mouth from young futsal and soccer players that begged their friends to watch. The fact that he is one of the most personable people in the game only helps to grow his legend.
One lucky ball boy even had his forehead signed by the famous #12 before the match. Though the boy had a massive smile on his face throughout the match his mother will surely not be pleased to have to wash off that ink.
Like many crowds around the globe, this one cheered loudly every time Falcao touched the ball, hoping to see the same razzle and dazzle that they’ve grown to love from his abundance of online highlights. He was on the court for Orlandia’s first two goals, assisting on the 2nd, and came off moments before the team scored their third.
The Brazilian league champions were by far the more technically sound team of the first half, picking apart the Guatemalan outfit’s defence with Je scoring a beautiful goal. They continued to press hard and created several more scoring opportunities before the end of the 20 minute mark but to no avail. 3-0 Orlandia at half.
The opening five minutes of the 2nd half saw a more composed and speedy Glucosoral side as they attempted to get back into the game. Orlandia countered by patiently maneuvering the ball around the court looking for openings to exploit to put the game out of reach.
That moment came in the 27th minute when Falcao turned a defender around the top of the goal crease and nailed a crisp low shot to make it 4-0, much to the delight of the crowd who rose to their feet and delivered a loud round of applause.
Still, Glucosoral refused to quit and produced three golden opportunities to score just under the halfway mark but were thwarted by a combination of bad finishing and a sensational save from goalkeeper Guitta.
Orlandia added another when Augusto launched a devastating rocket into the top corner that the Glucosoral goalkeeper could only watch. Another one came soon after when Vinicius finished off a great play to make it 6-0.
Despite the scoreline, the Guatemalan’s perseverance paid off as they scored a couple of goals late in the game before Orlandia added their final notch with just over a minute remaining to finish off with a convincing 7-2 win.
PLAYER OF THE MATCH FOR INTELLI ORLANDIA: Je
PLAYER OF THE MATCH FOR GLUCOSORAL: Alan Aguilar
After both matches Futsal Canada sat down with coaches and players from all four sides, yes, including Falcao, and will bring a series of interviews and insights to you throughout the week.
Friday’s action sees World United in their 2nd game against two-time Futsal World Cup winning Kike and the rest of El Pozo with a 5:30pm EST kickoff while Glucosoral face off against Russian Champions Dinamo Moscow at 8pm EST. Watch the Intercontinental Cup games for live and free at USA Futsal TV by clicking here. http://184.108.40.206/tv/