Spain's hold on the FIFA Futsal World Cup is over after a 4-3 penalty shoot-out success gave Brazil victory in the final in Rio de Janeiro following a 2-2 draw after extra time.
Brazil's fourth title
No host nation had won the previous five editions of the tournament; Brazil beat Spain in Barcelona in 1996 to clinch their third title, and the European side then went on to gain revenge in Guatemala in 2000 before defeating Italy four years later in Chinese Taipei. Brazil twice had leads cancelled out in normal time, the second near the end by Álvaro, but two saves from second-string goalkeeper and penalty specialist Franklin in the shoot-out ended Spain's bid for a third straight success.
These two sides were certainly familiar with each other; seven of the 12-strong Brazil team represent Spanish clubs Interviú Madrid and ElPozo Murcia FS, who between them provided 15 of the 24 players involved in the final. Therefore it was unsurprising the game was tight between two teams unbeaten in three years since each defeated the other in a two-game friendly series in Brazil in December 2005. Brazil captain Vinicius Elías of Murcia was denied by Interviú goalkeeper Luis Amado in the hosts' best first-half chance while at the other end Andreu headed wide.
The first breakthrough for Brazil came just over four minutes into the second half when a Marquinho corner deflected in off the face of Interviú colleague Borja. Spain were soon level through a superb Jordi Torras strike from the left, but after a superb double save with four minutes left by Amado, Vinicius struck to delight the home crowd. However, Álvaro's opportunist close-range strike 92 seconds from the end forced extra time and just as when these teams met in the 2004 semi-finals, the game went to penalties.
Brazil placed substitute Franklin in goal for the shoot-out and he saved Spain's third kick from Torras but with Ari stepping up to give the hosts an unassailable 5-3 lead, Amado blocked. However, Franklin then denied Brazil-born Marcelo to give the home nation their fourth world crown. Having missed out on a hat-trick of World Cups, Spain will now aim to secure a third consecutive UEFA European Futsal Championship in Hungary in January 2010, with qualifying next March.
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