Playing in home sands, Spain have won their second title while USA finished second
In the first Mundialito that was played in Spain, the hosts celebrated their second title in the competition. Chiky won the MVP, Chris Toth was the best goalkeeper of the tournament, and Akaguma was the top-scorer with 7 goals.
The match that would decide the Mundialito was none other than an Iberian derby between Portugal and Spain, who had to win to lift the trophy.
A brace from Chiky in the first three minutes lighted the hopes of the home crowd in a packed stadium at the Playa del Inglés beach. Portugal would make it 2-1 by André Lourenço and the scoreboard didn’t go through any more changes until the end of the first period.
The result was feeling dangerous for Spain but halfway through the second period Antonio showed up to restore the two-goal lead for La Roja. The home fans would celebrate again two minutes later as Alejandro made it 4-1 by being quicker reacting to a rebound. The match looked controlled, but Belchior emerged scoring twice from set-pieces to relaunch the discussion.
And three minutes into the final period the match Portugal equalised with a goal by Duarte Algarvio. This meant that Spain had to score to keep their title hopes alive. The clock kept ticking, worrying players and supporters, but two and a half minutes before the end, Antonio shot to put the stadium shouting with joy as Spain were back ahead. But the moment of the day came 35 seconds later, when Chiky lobbed it above Andrade to make it 6-4 and ignite an explosion of euphoria in the stadium. Lourenço still put the difference on the scoreboard to only one goal with one minute to go, but a bicycle kick by Cassano 10 seconds later confirmed Spain’s win and their second Mundialito title.
USA take the silver medal
There was all to play for when Japan and USA stepped on the sand in the first match of the day, both teams knowing they needed to win to keep the possibility of winning the Mundialito alive.
Gabriel Silveira broke the deadlock three minutes into the game and the US could even have gone into the second period with a bigger margin on the scoreboard, but Yusuke Kawai with a couple of astonishing saves kept the result in 1-0.
The second period kept the speculative flow and both goalkeepers Kawai and Christopher Toth shone to keep the result tight going into the third period.
Japan went on to look for the equaliser through every possible way but Albiston made the best out of a counter-attack and doubled the American lead with less than five minutes to go, practically sentencing the match that would end with a 2-0 on the scoreboard.
RESULTS – Matchday 3
Japan 0-2 USA
Spain 7-5 Portugal
MVP: Chiky (ESP)
Best Goalkeeper: Toth (USA)
Top-scorer: Akaguma (JAP)
To check all the stats about the Mundialito Gran Canaria 2022, click here.