Mumbai 5’s with Giggs ready for Kolkata’s Crespo

Photo credit: Premier Futsal
Photo credit: Premier Futsal
 
MAPUSA: Mumbai 5’s will take on Kolkata 5’s for a place in the final in the semi-finals of the Indian Premier Futsal league at Peddem sports complex, Mapusa, on Saturday, at 7 p.m. With three wins out of four, Mumbai became the first team to seal their berth in the final four of the inaugural edition.
 
Their marquee player, Ryan Giggs was the quickest amongst all the marquee players to transition to futsal effortlessly. He has already mastered the art of taking the toe-poke shot and scoop-passes. It is amazing how in such a short time, he has picked up the body-feints to lose his opponent. 
 
Mumbai have three phenomenal international futsal players which gives them a great balance. In Ramirez, you have a defender who though rarely spectacular, is strong, hard-working and effective, plus has scored a couple of cracking goals. 
 
On the wing, there is Angellot, who has incredible footwork and close skills that have set the court ablaze in this tournament several times for the fans and the opponents alike. With Foglia upfront, in the pivot role, you have power, skills and a deadly shooting capacity where he can shoot at the first sight of goal. 
 
He has won and lost the golden armband (for leading goalscorer) twice already. Behind all the outfield players there is a wall in the best futsal goalkeeper Luis Amado.
 
Chanpreet, the Indian talent, which Mumbai have fielded, has a fierce shot and great position-play. He manages to find himself in the spaces, even on that short field. He got on the goal sheet last game and will be full of confidence going into the semi-finals.
 
Mumbai have managed to win three out their four games and were rarely troubled. Over-confidence could be their only downfall and there are no second chances from here. Ramirez’s ankle injury will also be a worry.
 
On the other hand, Kolkata 5’s have very heavily relied on their marquee player Hernan Crespo to make the semi-finals. 
 
They have fielded him where he has been most comfortable all through his playing career, just off the last defender. Crespo, has also used his futsal playing experience to good advantage here in Premier Futsal. He does not take more than two touches before taking the shots, keeping the defenders on their toes.
 
They have lots of experience in players such as Gabriel, former FC Barcelona defender, who has won everything there is in the game including two World Cups. Their ranks also include Pula, who given a yard of space will shoot at will and already has four goals in the competition. 
 
Their stand out player has been goalkeeper Cidao, who apart from some great saves, has frequently dropped the ball and dribble forward to initiate a counter attack or even just stays in the opponent’s half looking for an opportunity to shot. They will also count on the vastly experienced Vander Carioca, one of the most experienced players in futsal history. 
 
In Akshay Nair, they have a player who is always on the move and hunting for space. Many goals are scored at the far post and if a ball goes there you can almost guarantee Nair will be there.
 
Injuries to Gabriel and Crespo will be a worry and Pula has been on the field all the time and he could also be fatigued with the intensity of the games.
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