Goa and Kochi both booked their semifinal places on Thursday. In a thrilling match Kochi 5s drew against Chennai 5s to qualify second in the group A behind Mumbai. Whereas Goa under their new marquee player Cafu beat Bengaluru 5s comprehensively 3-0 to top Group B.
As both of them will face off in the second semifinal on Saturday we look at how they both have fared so far who have been the star players and what can one expect in the semifinal.
They have had a stop start tournament. They lost their first match against Kolkata only to come out all guns blazing in the second match with Ronaldinho, their marquee player the chief architect scoring five goals in the match. When it seemed all set Ronaldinho had to leave mid way due to his selection as the ambassador for the Paralympics. He was replaced by Cafu who missed out on one match and only featured in the last match. So one cannot pin point to any star going into the semifinal. But the way Cafu marshaled his troops in the last group match he seemed to enjoy this version of the game and Goa will look up to his leadership against Kochi.
Goa 5s Road to the semifinals
Match 1: Goa 5s 2–4 Kolkata 5s (L)
Match 2: Bengaluru 5s 2–7 Goa 5s (W)
Match 3: Kolkata 5s 2–2 Goa 5s (D)
Match 4: Goa 5s 3–0 Bengaluru 5s (W)
Kochi along with Mumbai have been the top scorers in the tournament with 15 goals so far. It has been very difficult for teams to keep them silent. Brazil’s Deives Moraes has been the second top scorer of the tournament behind Mumbai 5s Faglio with seven goals to his name. Though they have former Real Madrid Right back Michael Salgado as the marquee player their defense has leaked a lot a goals; 14 to be precise, most by any team in the semifinals. Due to this they have only won one, but have lost one and drawn two of their four matches.
Kochi 5s road to the semifinal
Match 1: Mumbai 5s 1–4 Kochi 5s (W)
Match 2: Kochi 5s 4–4 Chennai 5s (D)
Match 3: Kochi 5s 4–6 Mumbai 5s (L)
Match 4:Chennai 5s 3–3 Kochi 5s(D)
What to expect from the semifinal
While Goa 5s continue to remain more of a team with no single player to pin point who can run away with the match while Kochi 5s have largely been dependent on Deives Moraes. Unlike the first semifinal this match is not about a strong defensive side against an attacking side. In sharp contrast Goa 5’s have been good on both fronts and in fact have the best goal difference in the tournament while Kochi have generous in both scoring and conceding. As things stand Kochi 5s will have to come up with something special if they have to go past Goa into the semifinal.