Intercontinental Cup Day 2: Dinamo Moscow Makes a Statement of Intent.
Several of the world’s best futsallers were in action on matchday 2 of the Intercontinental Cup taking place in the U.S. this week. But Dinamo Moscow came out strong and showed why they are one of the best teams on earth today. Pictures included.
By: Kris Fernandes
Photos By: Kathleen George
Match 1: ElPozo Murcia (Spain) vs World United (USA)
World United had suffered a 9-2 loss a day earlier to Carlos Barbosa while the Spanish runners-up were playing in their first match of the competition.
ElPozo Murcia have established themselves as one of the world’s elite futsal clubs, having won the Spanish Premier League on five occasions, finishing as runners-up this year, while boasting top players such as two-time World Champion Kike and the talented Miguelin
Although it was a close score line it was for the most part an uneventful first half with ElPozo producing a pair of goals while a defensive mistake cost them a goal. Many youngsters were intrigued by the presence of Kike, the Spanish Captain that finished as a runner-up for the Golden Ball at the recent World Cup, and cheered him throughout the half which ended 2-1 for ElPozo.
A mere minute and half into the 2nd half , Murcia goalkeeper Fabio caught his counterpart Daniel Waltman out of his net and calmly chipped him to put them back up by two.
Wearing the captain’s armband for World United was #10, Heverton, who displayed great leadership to keep his team in the game. After shimmying off one of the best defenders in the world in Kike, Heverton was able to muster a turnaround shot that, though lacking in power, was perfectly placed into the lower right corner to bring United back within one.
Unfortunately he would also cause a key turnover at the half line that resulted in a terrific one timer by Alex that ripped into the top corner to double their lead once more. Alex was sporting a soft purple cast on his lower right arm throughout the match but looked very comfortable despite it.
ElPozo added another goal a few minutes later after a hard shot from Juanpi caught Waltman by surprise.
One bright spot for United was the play of 17 year-old U.S. international Lucas Stauffer, who impressed the locals with his hard runs and quick ball control. The Kentucky native played for the national team at both last year’s CONCACAF and at the recent four nation’s event in Newcastle, England and is showing everyone why he is touted as the most promising American futsaller in years.
ElPozo pulled their keeper in favour of the fifth attacker with about eight minutes to play in hopes of adding another goal, and perhaps as a tester for what will be a much tighter match Saturday when they face Carlos Barbosa.
After Stauffer missed a breakaway, Murcia quickly countered with a 3v1 and had no trouble scoring to go up 6-2.
United Head Coach Vava Marques was visibly upset with his team’s late half collapse and belted instructions to his defenders to mark tight. But the marching orders fell on deaf ears as they were shelled for another pair roughly 20 seconds apart that gave ElPozo an insurmountable six goal cushion with three minutes left on the clock.
The Spaniards added one more for good measure and showed the crowd, including the entire Carlos Barbosa squad who were watching intently, just how much of a threat they are for the title with a 9-2 win.
PLAYER OF THE GAME ELPOZO: Miguelin
PLAYER OF THE GAME WORLD UNITED: Heverton
Match 2: Dinamo Moscow (Russia) v Glucosoral FSC (Guatemala)
After wrapping up their eighth Russian Super League title only weeks ago and barely losing the UEFA Futsal Cup in a classic match every futsal fan should watch, Dinamo Moscow are in great shape to hoist the Intercontinental Cup for the first time. Most North American fans came into this match unaware of the excellent quality of players of the Russian Super League but soon found out just how good they are.
It didn’t take very long for Dinamo to strike as they opened up with a quick goal by one of their seven Russian internationals, Alexander Fukin, which came off a pass from one of the most dominant futsal players in the world, Cirilo.
A strong series of passes capped off with a blast by Romulo gave the Russian club another goal and they made it 3-0 less than a minute later, courtesy of a Fernandinho tap in when Glucosoral’s defenders were caught napping.
As expected, Dinamo played very aggressively from the get go and fouled out with just under nine minutes remaining in the half. Glucosoral were awarded a penalty from the 10m spot but keeper Gustavo was able to come out and drop his left foot to preserve the clean sheet.
That would be temporary however as Glucosoral were able to get on the scoresheet when Alan Aguilar struck the back of the net in the 17th to cut the deficit down to two.
But Dinamo were simply relentless and continued to dictate the pace of the match. After a beautiful series of tika-taka passes through the Glucosoral half they were able to notch their fourth of the game when Fernandinho struck again to end the half 4-1.
Brazilian side Intelli Orlandia were in the stands watching the match, assessing their Saturday opponents, and during the break dozens of kids hounded Falcao and Je, vying for an elusive autograph or photo.
When the whistle blew to start the 2nd, Dinamo pressed again and scored immediately. The writing was clearly on the wall for the rest of the match. One had the sense that if they were playing children they still would have not lifted the foot off the pedal.
Frustration set in for the Guatemalans when Daneil Tejada received a red for a reckless challenge in the 25th minute. Dinamo wouldn’t even need the full two minute man advantage as they worked the ball around the Glucosoral half before Fernandinho fooled the keeper before slotting it home to make it 6-1.
The Brazilian international added yet another, as did Suchlin, as the Russians easily walked away with a 8-1 win.
To say that Dinamo Moscow made the biggest statement of intent of the first round of matches is an understatement. The Brazilian-born trio of Fernandinho, Cirilo, and Pula were absolutely on top of their game and Falcao and the rest of Intelli Orlandia will have their hands full on Saturday night when they face each other.
It’s worth mentioning that the crowds here in Greensboro have been getting louder as the tournament has progressed. The overwhelming majority of attendees had never seen high level futsal in person until this event and chatting with many of them it is quite evident that they thoroughly enjoy watching futsal more than soccer. As one parent of a youth player put it:
“This game is perfect for us Americans that don’t like soccer, and there’s a lot of us that don’t. But Futsal is amazing to watch.”