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International Competitions - September 12, 2021 22:00Russia, Kazakhstan, Guatemala start in styleMatchday 1 reviewCourtesy: FIFA.com

Cover photo credit: Alex Caparros - FIFA via Getty Images


12 Sept 2021

- RFU and Kazakhstan recorded big victories on the opening day
- Guatemala edged a thriller against Uzbekistan
- A last-gasp goal thwarted an admirable attempt from Lithuania

Results

Group A
Kazakhstan 6-1 Costa Rica
Lithuania 1-2 Venezuela

Group B
RFU 9-0 Egypt
Uzbekistan 4-5 Guatemala


Moments

Statement of intent
RFU began the day as contenders. They finish it having boosted their status among the trophy favourites. Ivan Chishkala hit a hat-trick, while wonder goals from Artem Antoshkin and Sergei Abramov aided an emphatic victory.

Douglas dazzles
Leo Higuita pulled off some stunning saves – two when it was 0-0 – and Taynan bagged a brace, but it was the third member of Kazakhstan’s Brazil-born triumvirate who seized the headlines. Douglas’s hypnotising trickery left opponents slipping and sliding throughout, while his outside-of-the-boot strike from distance provided an early goal of the tournament contender.

Guatemalan glee
Uzbekistan warmed up for the tournament by giving the mighty Spain two extremely tough games and beating Portugal 3-1. They were undone today, however, by a performance that will have an entire nation buzzing. Stunning strikes from Alan Aguilar and Marvin Sandoval had Guatemala 4-1 up, only for a Ikhtiyor Ropiev treble to level the game. Then, with less than 20 seconds remaining, Aguilar snatched victory for the Central Americans. The emotion on the players’ faces at full-time told some story.

History for hosts and VS
There was tension in the air when Lithuania fell behind on what was a historic day for the country. When Justinas Zagurskas equalised with a well-struck shot, the crowd erupted… albeit momentarily. Venezuela challenged the decision to award a goal, claiming a foul, but after a review the history-making Video Support ruled it legitimate and it ultimately earned the hosts an admirable point.


Quote
“My tears are for the effort we put in every day. We are in a Futsal World Cup and we have to fight until the end and keep the faith. The team knew how to suffer and we never stopped believing.”
Guatemala's Alan Aguilar


Next up

Monday (local time)

Group C
Morocco-Solomon Islands, Kaunas, 18:00
Thailand-Portugal, Kaunas, 20:00

Group D
Panama-Czech Republic, Klaipeda, 18:00
Vietnam-Brazil, Klaipeda, 20:00


Posted by Luca Ranocchiari --> luca.ranocchiari@futsalplanet.com
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