PHUKET: The stage is set for another epic FIFA Futsal World Cup final between the world’s top two national teams – Spain and Brazil – with the seventh edition of the prestigious tournament to conclude tonight in Bangkok.
Meanwhile, the first match of this evening’s Europe vs South America double-header will see Futsal World Cup newcomers Colombia challenge Italy for the third place title.
In what is expected to be a high intensity clash, the ‘coffee growers’ will try to maintain their shock and surprise streak that saw them knock out heavily favored Iran and Ukraine.
At the start of the tournament, Colombia was ranked 19th in the world, but thanks to a strong campaign, have since shot up to number 12.
World number 3, Italy look to repeat their 3rd place finish from four years ago when they prevailed over Russia 2-1.
Tonight’s main event will be battled out between the world’s respective number one and two sides.
Indeed, Spain and Brazil are the only two to have ever been crowned champions of the official futsal world championship since its debut in 1989.
Brazil celebrate their sixth berth, while Spain celebrate their fifth. Tonight will be the fourth World Cup finals’ meeting between the two sides.
Four years ago, hosts Brazil were crowned champions when they edged Spain in a 4-3 penalty shootout to settle a 2-2 deadlock after extra time.
Before that, Spain had beat Brazil 4-3 in 2000 in Guatemala, while Brazil prevailed 6-4 four years prior to that when the tournament was hosted in Spain.
As defending champions and current world number 2, Brazil will look to gain their fifth title after defeating Colombia 3-1 in the semifinals on Friday night.
Meanwhile, world number 1, Spain, who had downed Italy 4-1 in their respective semifinal, will seek their third title.
Both of tonight’s matches will be played at Bangkok’s Indoor Stadium, Huamark. Though tickets are sold out, the matches will be broadcast live on Thai terrestrial TV channel 9.
Also, the matches can be streamed live on this link.
Kickoff times (GMT+7) are as follows:
5pm: Italy vs Colombia
7:30pm: Spain vs Brazil
— Steven Layne
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