World Cup : Hosts out as Spain coast into quarters


Spain have set-up a quarter-final tie with either Russia or the Czech Republic after coasting to a 7-1 victory over hosts Thailand in the round of 16.

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Having won all of the sides’ five previous meetings, all of which were friendlies, the European champions were firm favourites to progress and their Asian opponents looked cautious as they tried to gain a footing in the game.

Thailand were being cheered on by a vocal crowd but it couldn’t prevent them falling behind after nine minutes, with Torras rounding off a counter-attack. That looked to spark the War Elephants into life, testing Spain a number of times, but Torras was on hand to double the lead before half-time, converting a cross at the far post.

Having switched ends, La Roja went about winning the game in calm and controlled manner befitting their tag as one of the tournament favourites. Thailand were intent on giving the crowd something to cheer about but the Spaniards were ruthless in punishing their attacking forays.

Dispossessing them all too easily, Spain made it 5-0 before the midpoint of the second-half, with Fernandao converting crosses from Alemao and Alcardo, before the latter added another.

Thailand took the bold step of removing their goalkeeper in a bid to find their way back into the game, but they were made to pay for their cavalier approach. First Ortiz, and then Alvaro struck from behind the halfway line to find the gaping goal.

However, just over a minute from the end, they managed a breakthrough. Kritsanda Wongkaeo fired in to the bottom right-hand corner of Spain’s net to give them the goal they wanted. The side celebrated as if they had won the game and duly left the tournament on the back of a priceless moment.

The quotes
“We played a great match. It could have been a very difficult game but we made it look easy. I think the key to winning was scoring the third and fourth goals in the second half. I want to congratulate Thailand because they decided to play offensive football and that is very good for futsal,”Venancio Lopez, Spain coach.

“The difference today between Spain and Thailand is that when you take too many risks they’ll score. We had some chances when it was 0-0 but we failed to capitalise and against teams like Spain you must take the chances you have,” Victor Hermans, Thailand coach.

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