Australia claimed their first victory of IFA Under 14s Boys Futsal World Cup after a stunning second half comeback to beat the United States of America. Zak Mohring gave Australia the lead but two goals in two turned the game in America’s favour thanks to Devin Brown and Daniel Tremillo Cazares but an Alexander Robinson strike levelled the match at half time.
America scored twice in the opening seven minutes of the second half through Angel Iniquez and Kevin Estrada but Australia fought back thanks to an own goal from Robert Michel and strikes from Ryan Merriman and John McKenna to seal the comeback.
The USA started brightly with lots of possession, but it was Australia that created the first real opportunity. Long throw out from Australian goalkeeper Brad Mithell found Merriman but he pulled the ball wide of the goal. The USA responded with a chance of their own, but Ronaldo Michel Reyes hit the post.
Australia got on the scoresheet for the first time in the tournament after five minutes of their second game as a long ball forward found Mohring. He controlled the ball excellently and struck the ball into the back of the net despite the best efforts of the goalkeeper and defender to deny him.
The USA controlled possession and created chances as they hit the post before Mohring had to make a goal saving block to deny an equaliser. America eventually got their equaliser on the twelve minutes.
Devin Brown’s strike found the back of the net as the keeper couldn’t get a strong enough hand to it and two minutes later, the USA were in front.
An attempted cross was blocked by the Australian defence but fell kindly to Tremillo Cazares who fired the ball into the top corner.
Australia fought back well and were unlucky not to level when John McKenna clipped the left hand post but seconds later, the ball found the back of the USA goal. A long ball forward from Nathan Price found Robinson who flicked the ball past the keeper and into the net.
Both teams had chances to go in at the break ahead with the bets one falling to the USA but Tremillo Cazares’s strike was deemed by officials not to have crossed the line.
Half time: Australia 2 – 2 USA
The USA started the second half very brightly and got their reward early on. A quick break saw Iniquez played in for a tap in to restore America’s lead. Australia tried to fight back with chances from Merriman and Mohring but soon they found themselves two goals down.
Lovely work in the centre of the pitch by the USA resulted in Estrada receiving the ball on the right wing and he unleashed a terrific strike giving the keeper no chance and doubling America’s lead.
Australia continued to fight back and the American goalkeeper had to make a terrific save to deny Jake Almond from reducing the deficit. The USA tried to finish the match off but Michel’s attempt clipped the post before the ball was scrambled off the goalline.
Australia were given a lifeline with nineteen minutes left to play when Michel deflected the ball into his own net to reduce the deficit to the solitary goal.
The Aussies equalised five minutes later with a stunning free kick from Merriman that was blasted into the top left hand corner, sparking scenes of extreme emotion from the Aussie number 5.
The USA searched for the goal to get back in front as Brown weaved his way through the Australia defence but his shot got blocked on the line and scrambled away. Then it was the turn of Estrada as he clipped the post with his effort.
These missed chances for the USA was costly as Australia broke and McKenna finished off a sweeping move by placing the ball into the bottom corner with five minutes to go.
America threw everything at Australia with Brown denied multiple times in the final moments as Australia held on to bounce back from their opening day defeat.
Full Time: Australia 5 – 4 USA
Australia Man of the Match: John McKenna – Was dangerous for Australia and scored the vital winning goal. An all round superb performance from the number 10.
USA Man of the Match: Devin Brown – Was brilliant throughout, created lots of opportunities and was unlucky not to add to his one goal, and would have done despite the brilliance of Mitchell in the Aussie goal.
Australia Magic Moment: The brilliant free kick from Ryan Merriman to level the game back at four all.
USA Magic Moment: The stunning strike from Kevin Estrada to make it 4-2, no goalkeeper was saving that.