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Argentina crowned FIFA Futsal World Champion

Argentina defeated Russia 5-4 in a dramatic FIFA Futsal World Cup Colombia 2016 final at the Coliseo el Pueblo in Cali to win the country’s first-ever Futsal World Cup title.

First-half goals from Alamiro Vaporaki and Leandro Cuzzolino along with Alan Brandi’s quick-fire brace and Alamiro’s brother Constantino Vaporaki’s late goal in the second trumped Eder Lima and Russia on the day and made history for Argentina.

As finals usually go, there was a nervy air to the opening proceedings, with both sides hesitant to commit numbers forward and content to remain compact in defence. Not only that, but both nations were competing in a Futsal World Cup final for the first time, so the chance to make history was at stake.

The match came to life with five minutes left in the first half when there was a quick exchange of goals, first from Russia’s Lima and then Argentina’s Vaporaki. Lima had his initial close-range shot blocked but he stuck with the play and his persistence paid off, as he was able to poke his effort past a helpless Nicolas Sarmiento.

Argentina, however, did not drop their heads and they immediately responded with a goal of their own through Vaporaki, who finished a great team goal by reacting quickly and tapping in at Gustavo’s back post. Argentina then took the lead right before half-time when Cuzzolino tucked away a penalty.

The second half started with a bang and a Russian equaliser. Lima scored his ninth of the tournament when he turned Pablo Taborda and slammed home a fierce shot past Sarmiento. But before Russia could catch their breath, Argentina were back in front through Brandi, who scored from close range after Gustavo saved his initial shot. Just one minute later, Brandi extended Argentina’s lead to 4-2 after he and Cuzzolino combined well with quick and decisive passing inside Russia’s penalty area.

Constantino Vaporaki then scored the decisive goal after a long spell of Russian possession and with the European side’s goal empty, as they were forced to push for a goal themselves. Dmitry Lyskov then managed to score one more for Russia late on before Lima became the first player in history to score a hat-trick in a Futsal World Cup final when he scored from the second penalty spot. However, their efforts came too late in the end and La Albiceleste were crowned world champions.


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