FIFA Futsal WC:Brazil maintain unbeaten record
RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil: Portugal despite winning against Thailand were knocked out of the FIFA Futsal World Cup but Brazil has maintained their reputation as unbeatable in the mega event.
Portugal, which beat Thailand 3-2 with a late winner by Cardinal, ended a goal shy from reaching the next round.
The Italians, runner-up in the last World Cup, still advanced, edging Portugal on goal difference to grab the last spot available in Group B.
In Group A, hosts Brazil continued the row of successes on the ninth day of the event as they routed Cuba 9-0 behind a pair of goals by FIFA player of the year Falcao at Nilson Nelson Stadium in Brasilia.
Striker Jose Rotella scored in each half to help Paraguay stun favorite Italy 4-2 and advance to the second round of the Futsal World Cup on Wednesday.
All three teams finished with nine points from four matches, with Paraguay winning the group and Portugal finishing third.
Brazil, a three-time world champion, finished first in Group A with 12 points, three more than second-place Russia. The Russians secured their second-round berth with a 9-1 victory over third-place Japan in Rio.
The other two groups will be decided on Thursday. Two-time defending champion Spain and Iran are in position to advance in Group D, while Ukraine, Argentina and Guatemala will fight for the Group C spots.
Spain and Brazil are the only nations to have won the World Cup in futsal, which is played in two 20-minute periods on a surface about the size of a basketball court.
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