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25 Jul 2014
Portugal and Japan begin the XIX Mundialito with wins
The opening day in Espinho was inaugurated with offense, defense, overtime, and a hat-trick from the hosts
Japan outlasts America in overtime win
The 5-4 overtime win for Japan over America was a nail-biter throughout, as the largest lead was only one goal. The USA struck first and held the lead for most of the match but could not close out the Japanese who took the lead for the second time in the match early in overtime. The win gives Japan two points, instead of the three normally given for a win in regular time, and the U.S. is left empty-handed. Japan will carry this momentum into their next match on Saturday against Hungary. The United States will aim for a rebound and their first points against Portugal on Saturday.
The United States began the match by spending much of opening period on the attack and it paid off with an early goal from Perera after a defensive lapse from the Japanese. The early deficit seemed to inspire the Japanese as they began pressuring the Americans but the score remained the same until the final few minutes when the Nippon used artistic passing to score the equalizer. The two teams played a very close fight for that first period and the score was 1-1 heading into the first break. The two squads played just as close as they did in the opening period though only was goal was scored and it was the second for Pereira after an attempted clearance from the Japanese keeper went wrong and the Americans capitalized.
America and Japan both began the final frame on the attack. The Americans knew that another goal would go a long way in securing the victory but the Japanese would have none of that and they turned the tables, scoring two quick goals to take their first lead of the game, at 3-2, only two minutes into the period. At the midway point in the third period, no other goals had been scored though the Stars and Stripes stayed on the offensive, looking for the equalizer. Getting into crunch time, the Americans got that elusive goal to level things at three. Less than two minutes later, the Red, White, and Blue took the lead again, for the third time in the match though it was short lived with Japan’s Ozu, scoring shortly after to tie the game at 4. Regular time ended with the score still tied and the teams headed into overtime tied at 4. It took only a minute into overtime for Japan to score and despite many desperation attempts on goal, the Americans could not find the necessary goal and the match ended with Japan up 5-4.
Goals: 0-1: Perera, min. 9 (1); 1-1: Yamauchi, min. 4 (1); 1-2: Perera, min. 1 (2); 2-2: Ozu, min. 11 (3); 3-2: Tomoya, min. 10 (3); 3-3: Zaher, min. 4 (3); 3-4: Feld, min. 2 (3); 4-4: Ozu, min. 1 (3); 5-4: Matsuo, min. 2 (et).
Hat-trick and shutout fuel Portugal to victory
The 5-0 win for Portugal over Hungary was much closer than the final score shows as the game was tight throughout. The Hungarians were unable to find the back of the net but they had many chances and were in fact thwarted by the Portuguese defense and keepers more so than they missed. The hosts are now alone at the top of the table because of the three points they earned, compared to the two points earned by fellow opening day winners, Japan, in their overtime victory. The Portuguese will try and maintain their explosive offense and stout defense against the U.S.A. on Saturday. Hungary will have an opportunity to knock off Japan on Saturday.
Portugal started their run to the final with a great early goal from Belchior and in doing so put the Hungarians on their heels. The opening minutes were very heavily tipped in favour of the Portuguese and the goal was proof of that, although the Hungary squad stayed together and did well to take their own shots on goal and not concede any more. The excitement that was the opening period ended with the hosts up 1-0. The middle frame was just as exciting as the first, with both teams making their physical presence known and Portugal added to their lead on a brilliant set-up from Jose Maria to Jodan, who slotted a volley home. Portugal added another late period goal, using a great display of distribution from the keeper, Hildalgo, to take a three goal lead into the final period.
The Golden Team did not let their bad fortunes deter them as they stayed competitive and were mere inches away from scoring on multiple occasions in the final period. The Selection of the Quinas needed to use their goal keeper much more in the last frame, due in part to their continued attacking ways, but also because Hungary looked ready to score their first of the match. If Hungary had the ball bouncing the wrong direction, Portugal had all of the good luck and used that to score their fourth goal off of a clearance deflection, giving them a four goal lead. The final goal of the match was amazingly clever, as Belchior scored his third of the match after a great pass put him in an acute angle which is made sure hit the back of the net. When the final whistle blew, the score was 5-0, Portugal.
Goals: 0-1: Belchior, min. 9 (1); 0-2: Jordan, min. 8 (2); 0-3: Belchior, min. 2 (2); 0-4: Torres, min. 3 (3); 0-5: Belchior, min. 0 (3).
BSWW MUNDIALITO FUTEBOL DE PRAIA 2014
Japan 5-4 (aet) USA
Hungary 0-5 Portugal
Saturday, July 26th
13:05 - Japan vs. Hungary
14:20 - Portugal vs. USA