Kochi 5s led by Michel Salgado beat Mumbai 5s 4-1 in the first game at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Chennai on Saturday. Mumbai had taken the lead before a fourth quarter comeback saw Kochi storm to an unassailable lead.
Fans turned out in numbers with the majority of them in Manchester United kits to show their support for Red Devils legend Ryan Giggs of the Mumbai 5s. Adriano Foglia has scored twice and the Brazil-born Italian donned the top goalscorer’s armband before the game.
Mumbai almost took the lead in the first quarter when Giggs’ shot went through Casalone’s legs only for the goalkeeper to recover and dive backward to palm the ball away before it trickled over the line. Salgado also almost got into the act with a shot from the left that went just wide of the far post. Although a right-back in his playing days, Salgado was very much on the attack and sometimes the furthest man forward.
But that wasn’t to say that he was averse to defending. With Mumbai piling on the pressure, Salgado made a number of crucial blocks from open play and corners to frustrate Mumbai. Kochi opted to keep possession and build from the back to create space while Mumbai only looked to counter on winning the ball back.
The second quarter was very much end-to-end with Mumbai keeping Casalone busy in goal who denied Foglia and Angellot. On the other hand, Kochi were wasteful when they had opportunities to counter and the score at half-time read 0-0.
The third quarter saw Mumbai get into foul trouble with Giggs and Salgado coming together a couple of times. In spite of the Welshman’s protests, the fifth foul saw Salgado tripped and Deives Moraes, with a run up from the half-line, put away the penalty to give Kochi the lead. However, Giggs’ trickery paid off and his sublime back-heel pass created a sweeping move with four players involved with Foglia eventually setting up Angellot to tap into an empty net.
Kochi then ripped Mumbai apart in the fourth quarter when first Deives Moraes doubled his tally as Kochi finally beat Casalone in open play followed by a goal from Gekabert in almost similar fashion from the right. Michel Salgado finally got his goal after nicking the ball from Giggs and beating a backtracking Casalone to simply tap it in with nobody to stop him.