The IFA Media Team were treated to 14 excellent futsal matches, with plenty of talented individuals on show. In this post tournament article, we pick out our ten top performers over the course of the tournament (in no particular order).
Anthony Huang (Republic of China) - The number nine was a constant threat for his side throughout the tournement, getting goals and assists in every game he played. Was rested for their first loss to Catalonia and particularly in the second half, they missed someone of his prowess to see the game out. His left foot was one of the best in the competition.
John McKenna (Australia) - The Aussie was included in the tournament's All Star Five and rightly so given his performances. Unselfish in his play, he brought others into the game while also helping to keep the Australian’s tight at the back. Gave 100% all through the World Cup and deserves his inclusion.
Xingsen Zhang (China) - While China crashed out at the bottom of the group, they certainly added to the tournament with great heart shown in each game. Their stand out player was a close decision between goalkeeper Xingsen Zhang and Jianfu Su. Su was a real standout with his composure on the ball and his ability to create and score goals, however Zhang edges the award ahead of his team-mate with a string of fine saves in every match.
Mateo Pena-Sanchez (USA) - Played the whole tournament (while a lot of other countries rotated) and this consistency seemed to help the USA greatly. They conceded the least amount of goals and Pena-Sanchez was alert when called upon during the whole competition, winning him Golden Glove and a place in the All Star Five team. He also deserves a special mention for not letting his head drop, even after conceding the opening goal from a mistake in the final.
Yu-Hui Wen (Republic of China) - A player for Republic of China who wasn’t rested as much and you can see why. His skill and ability on the ball made him one of the most enjoyable players to watch. Scored goals, got assists, and was always in the right positions. He missed a couple of chances in the latter stages, which I’m sure will disappoint him but he should take solace in the fact he was able to create the space and these opportunities for himself.
Angel Iniquez (USA) - The entire USA team was a credit to their country with their performances through the World Cup and picking out individual players was extremely difficult. However, Captain, Iniquez was one of the best players in the whole tournament and earned his place in the All Star Five team. He was great coming forward, fantastic on the ball, and despite being smaller in stature he was brilliant defensively. Also scored a wonder goal, showing unbelievable technique, so may come away with goal of the tournament.
Zac Mohring (Australia) - Their top goalscorer and a player who added a spark to the Aussie’s whenever he was on the field. Always keen to drive forward in possession and not afraid to go for goal. He got some great goals in this tournament and even when he was fortunate with a deflection or two, it was his own work that earned the goal.
Marcos Carrasco (Catalonia) - Arguably the best player all week, Carrasco was unstoppable at times, as many opponents found out. He got a formidable 24 goals in six games (winning Golden Boot and a place in the All Star Five team), four of which were in the final. He wasn’t on the winning team despite this but it was clear to anyone watching how good a player he is. Remember the name.
Kevin Estrada (USA) - Another player in the All Star Five team, Estrada was included for his incredible consistency all tournament. More defensive minded overall, he was hard to beat at the back and provided great support going forward. His strength, pace, and quality on the ball meant he was easily one of the top performers across the whole six days.
Adrian Ortega (Catalonia) - Captain for Catalonia the majority of the tournment, he led by example with his creative and clinical play. While Carassco got most plaudits for his goals, Ortega almost quiety went about his business as he chipped in with goals and assists himself. In the end, it was his inspired semi-final performance that got them to the final and while he was much quieter against the USA, he was a definite inclusion for our top ten players.