soccer Prediction : Kazakhstan and Portugal stage dramatic comebacks to reach the semifinals.

Spain wins 2-4. Portugal (after extra time)
IR 2-3 Iran Kazakhstan


Punishment and near-miss

A Spain corner hit the leg of Adolfo Fernandez, who tapped the ball on to the post with a second remaining in the second half. What could have been was a case of what could have been. Portugal coach Jorge Braz, angry by defensive mistakes, finished his statement by slamming his tactical board onto the ground as the sides headed to their benches before extra time. His troops quickly rose to their feet and delivered a performance that earned them a spot in a second consecutive semi-final.

There were two surprises.

The Portuguese, on the other hand, played a far from flawless game. In the first half, there were more fouls than shots on goal. A error by goalie Bebe, which resulted in a sixth foul, gave Spain a fantastic chance from ten metres out, but Adri missed the target. The conclusion of the first half did not deter Spain — on the contrary, they made a quick start. Spain captain Carlos Ortiz made a fantastic pass – something he hoped his rival Ricardinho would not attempt before the game – to Adolfo, who produced a delightful finish. Adri scored his first goal of the tournament just a minute later, blasting in a free-kick to make up for his earlier mistake.

King of the comeback

Down 2-0? Don’t dismiss the Portuguese just yet. Sporting fought back from two goals behind to upset Barcelona 4-3 in last year’s UEFA Futsal Champions League final. This time, they were assisted by a goalkeeping blunder by the normally excellent Jesus Herrero, who mishandled a shot from Andre Coelho. Portugal equalised four minutes from time thanks to Zicky’s goal. Spain were forced to pay for Raya’s sliced clearing into his own goal in extra time, while Ortiz’s botched pass allowed Pany to score into an empty net and secure the game.

Recharged for the winner

Douglas Junior sat down for a well-deserved rest with four minutes remaining, and was cooled by a staff member who waved his towel. When he returned, he made a bursting rush forward with two minutes remaining, but his shot was saved. Taynan’s rebound effort was stopped, but the next corner saw Taynan score the game-winning goal. The two Brazilians had created history by assisting Kazakhstan in reaching the semi-finals for the first time.

A defensive wall has been breached.

Despite having the top defence in the competition, Kazakhstan surrendered twice against IR Iran in the first half, the same amount of goals they had allowed in their previous four encounters. Before the game, Moslem Oladghobad told that his team’s biggest strength was cooperation, and it was on display when his one-two with Saaeid Ahmad Abbasi, along with a bursting dash, allowed him to open the scoring. Mahdi Javid then set up Ahhmad Esmaeilpour, who went around the goalie and tapped in.

‘Iron Man’ is ready to help.

Kazakhstan battled back and were unlucky to strike the post either side of the interval, but their key man came up big. Douglas Junior has been outstanding in defence throughout the tournament, but the man dubbed ‘Iron Man’ transformed into ‘Assist Man,’ displaying the creative side of his playing arsenal by setting up first Dauren Tursagulov and then Arnold Knaub to score, as well as contributing to the winning goal.

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