The Semifinal line up for the for the Inaugural Premier Futsal League is out. After Thursday night virtual knockout matches, where all the four teams were in contention for the final 2 places, it was Goa 5’s and Kochi 5’s which made it through at the expense of Chennai and Bengaluru. They join the already qualified Mumbai 5’s and Kolkata 5’s from their respective groups.
Saturday night will see the likes of Group A topper Mumbai 5’s facing on Group B runners up Kolkata 5’s. Before the matches we look at how the teams have fared so far in the tournament and who we think has an advantage going into the business end of the tournament.
They have by far the most dominant team in the tournament. They have won three and lost one in the four matches yet. The team has been ably led by the Manchester United legend Ryan Giggs and it has outwitted all his opponents thus far. The key to their success has been the services of Brazilian born Foglia , who is the tournament’s top scorer with 8 goals including 2 hat tricks. Angellot and Kevin Ramiez with goals to their names have ably supported Foglia.
Just to put into perspective the importance of Foglia, Mumbai 5’s have won every match in which Foglia has scored. There only loss came off against Kochi 5’s in a 4-1 drubbing when Foglia failed to score.
Mumbai 5’s road to semifinals
Match 1:Chennai 5s 2–4 Mumbai 5s(W)
Match 2:Mumbai 5s 1–4 Kochi 5s(L)
Match 3: Mumbai 5s 4–3 Chennai 5s(W)
Match 4:Kochi 5s 4–6 Mumbai 5s (W)
Kolkata managed to make it to the semifinal as being the only team to remain unbeaten in the tournament. Though they managed to win just one and drawn three of their four matches. Brazilian-born Russian futsal player Pula has been the main man for them with 4 goals in the tournament so far. Their marquee player Crespo, the Argentinian striker has only managed to score a lone goal in the tournament so far, not a good return for a player having over 300 goals to his name.
It has largely been Kolkata defense that have come to the party and have helped the team remain unbeaten in the tournament and have made up for the lack of goals at the top.
Kolkata 5’s road to the semifinals
Match 1:Goa 5s 2–4 Kolkata 5s (W)
Match 2: Kolkata 5s 1–1 Bengaluru 5s (D)
Match 3: Kolkata 5s 2–2 Goa 5s (D)
Match 4: Kolkata 5s 1–1 Bengaluru 5s (D)
What to expect from the Semifinal
Kolkata 5’s are a sharp contrast to their semifinal opponents Mumbai 5’s. While they have largely been a defensive side and have witnessed low scoring draws, Mumbai have been prolific goal scorers and have conceded plenty as well. The match will be a battle between a strong defensive side vs a strong attacking side. Both teams will be competing on their strong points and will hope to outdo the other.