Qantas Futsalroos have defeated Thailand 5-4 in a friendly match in Bangkok as part of their final preparations for the FIFA Futsal World Cup Thailand 2012 which begins later this week.
Having arrived in Bangkok on the weekend, the Qantas Futsalroos were bolstered by the late inclusion of veteran goalkeeper Gavin O’Brien, who was a member of the squad that represented Australia at the 2004 FIFA Futsal World Cup in Chinese Taipei, after he passed a fitness test last week clearing him to be available for the tournament.
From the kick-off the Qantas Futsalroos pressed very high throughout the first half and defensively executed the game plan well which meant that Thailand were not able to hold the ball and create effective possession.
The opening goal was scored by the Qantas Futsalroos in the third minute when Daniel Fogarty applied high pressure at the top of the court. Fogarty’s tackle led to a loose ball which took he pounced on and, with a first time touch from just outside the D, placing a perfect shot into the bottom corner of the goal.
Two minutes later the Qantas Futsalroos doubled their lead when another forced error from Thailand gave captain Greg Giovenali the ball just inside the Thai half.
Giovenali then placed a well-timed through ball to Fogarty in behind his defender. Fogarty’s resulting cross to the back post was met by an oncoming Toby Seeto who finished first time giving the Thai keeper no chance of saving.
Giovenali then extended his team’s lead a minute later with powerful low strike from a free kick into the bottom right corner of the goal.
The Qantas Futsalroos fourth goal came in the ninth minute when goalkeeper Peter Spathis played a long ball to Fogarty who was sprinting down court. Fogarty headed on for Jarrod Basger who then dribbled around the Thai goal keeper and passed into an empty net.
Thailand pulled a goal back in the 18th minute with a well-taken volley from a corner.
Two minutes into the second half, the Qantas Futsalroos scored their fifth goal of the match after Fogarty pinched the ball in the middle of the court, beat his defender and then passed to Giovenali on the right. Giovenali’s cross to back post found Basger who easily tapped in to complete his brace.
Thailand responded with goals in the 26th and 32nd minute’s to significantly reduce the deficit.
Two minutes before full-time the Qantas Futsalroos conceded their 6th foul of the match. From the resulting penalty Thailand hit the post and the ball was cleared out of danger.
Shortly afterwards, Thailand scored again following a corner with a well-taken first time finish to the top left corner that gave Spathis no chance of saving.
For the remaining minutes of the game the Qantas Futsalroos defended well and denied Thailand any clear cut chances to equalise to record a confidence boosting win, with Spathis in fine form throughout the match to keep his team in the game.
The Qantas Futsalroos will play another friendly against Egypt today to fine tune for opening match of the tournament.
The Qantas Futsalroos have been drawn in Group D of the FIFA Futsal World Cup Thailand 2012 and will play their opening match against Italy on Friday 2 November (kick-off 5:00pm local, 9:00pm AEDT ) followed by Mexico Monday 5 November (kick-off 5:00pm local, 9:00pm AEDT and Italy in their final group match on Thursday 8 November (kick-off 5:00pm local, 9:00pm AEDT).
All Qantas Futsalroos matches at the FIFA Futsal World Cup 2012 will be broadcast live on SBS Two (see www.sbs.com.au for broadcast details).
Qantas Futsalroos 5 (Daniel Fogarty 3’, Toby Seeto 5’, Greg Giovenali 6’, Jarrod Basger 9’/22’)