By K. RAJAN
HO CHI MINH CITY: Malaysia’s Equal FC fell short at the last hurdle when they lost 7-2 to Brazil’s Floripa in the final of the Tiger Street Football Grand Finals here yesterday.
Floripa, who had earlier lost to Equal FC in the group stages, gained sweet revenge in the final to take home the grand prize of US$30,000 in the second edition of the competition, which was played in a carnival-like atmosphere.
Runners-up Equal FC earned US$10,000 while Argentina’s Futsar Argentina received US$5,000 after beating Vietnam’s Dat Vinh Tien 6-3 in the third placing playoff.
Equal FC began their campaign in style – beating Floripa 5-4, China’s Brother FC 10-5, Vietnam’s Huy Hoang 6-3 and Cafe Pho An Giang 3-1 to remain undefeated in the group stage.
They then edged another Dat Vinh Tien 5-4 in the semi-final.
What made Equal FC’s feat even more remarkable is that they had to come from behind to beat Floripa and Dat Vinh Tien in sudden-death in their opening and semi-final matches.
Equal FC skipper Jamaludin Alias was not too downbeat about their loss, saying “our luck ran out in the final”.
“The win over Floripa in the group stage was the highlight of our campaign. Anyway, qualifying for the final is already a bonus for us,” said Jamaludin, who picked up the man-of-the-match award.
“All our hard work in training, especially the gym sessions prior to the Grand Finals, paid off. We managed to beat the best team in the competition … although we fell at the final hurdle.
“We are really glad to have done Malaysia proud in the competition.”
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