Brazil’s young futsal players took their place in sporting history as they won the inaugural men’s Olympic futsal competition at the Youth Olympic Games Buenos Aires 2018 on Thursday 18 October.
The South Americans were in commanding form as they beat Russia 4-1 to secure the gold, while Egypt produced a superb comeback to defeat hosts Argentina earlier in the day and claim the last place on the podium.
Brazil went into the gold medal match as very warm favourites, having won all five of their previous matches and beaten the Russians 6-1 when the two sides met in their opening game in Group B
Cheered on by a vociferous army of fans that included Marta – newly crowned as The Best FIFA Women’s Player of 2018 – the men in yellow and blue started the stronger, with Russia’s Denis Subbotin by far the busier of the two keepers.
It was no shock, then, that the Brazilians took the lead with only 1:47 on the clock, though the manner in which the goal came about took everyone at the Main Futsal Hall by surprise.
There appeared to be little danger to the Russia goal when a Brazil attack broke down on the edge of the penalty area and the ball ran to Danil Karpuik. Facing his own goal and in seemingly attempting a clearance, the 18-year-old forward succeeded only in firing an unstoppable drive past Subbotin and into the roof of the net. The consternation on the faces of his team-mates contrasted with the jubilation shown by the Brazilians.
Enjoying plenty of possession against opponents content to sit deep and hit on the break, the South Americans pressed for a second, with the tall pivot Guilhermao excelling. The overworked Subbotin kept the Russians in the game, however, and they almost conjured up an equaliser on the stroke of half-time, when Ilia Fedorov worked himself some space at the far post only to put the ball wide from close range.
The missed opportunity was followed by a flurry of late Russian pressure, with Brazil keeper Francoar pulling off two fine stops to keep his side ahead.
Brazil then doubled their advantage at the start of the second half, as Breno powered a low shot straight through Subbotin’s legs.
In a bid to claw a goal back, Russia coach Sergei Skorovich sent on a flying goalkeeper whenever they were in possession. The decision backfired immediately, however, when Moura stroked the ball into the unguarded net after a Russia attack broke down.
With Neguinho and Yuri impressing in the Brazil defence, the Russians struggled to create clear-cut chances. And when they did work some space for a shot on goal, Francoar was there to deny them.
Russian persistence was eventually rewarded when Danil Samusenko shot home off the post with a little over a minute remaining, though there was still time for Brazil to restore their three-goal lead and seal the gold in style. With Russia continuing to use a fly keeper, Francoar sent a long clearance down the court and into the empty net to ensure Brazil would be crowned futsal’s first Olympic champions.
In the first of the day’s two games, Egypt beat hosts Argentina 5-4 in a thrilling battle for the bronze. The Argentinians surged into a 3-0 lead inside the opening ten minutes before Mohamed Talaat pulled a goal back for the Egyptians four minutes from half-time. Talaat helped himself to three more goals in the second half, with Hamoo chipping in as Egypt surged into a 5-3 lead. Despite a late Alan de Candia strike, the North Africans held on to secure a dramatic win.