First Place Winner, February 2013 XT Photo Contest
I'm sure that we have some athletes going to the Olympics, so we can talk about their achievements here
Czechs check-in with win
Czech Republic got their FIFA Futsal World Cup campaign off to a flying start with a convincing 4-1 victory over Uruguay at the Maracanazinho.
From the first whistle, it was obvious that this would be a closely fought match and while Czech Republic shaded the game in terms of possession, the final score was not a true reflection of the even encounter in Rio de Janeiro.
With Uruguay switching off at the back, Roman Mares had the game's first real chance and after eight minutes it was the same player who gave his side the lead. That lasted for just nine minutes when Seba's scored from a rebounf.
Tomas Sluka made it 2-1 to Czech Republic five minutes after the re-start, but the goal appeared to galvanise Uruguay, who abandoned their counter-attacking tactics and went on the offensive. But as they poured men forward, gaps appeared at the back and Zdenek Slama took advantage of a wonderful assist by Mares to restore their two-goal cushion.
The South Americans never gave up but found Czech keeper Tomas Meller in inspired form and the final minute of an entertaining match provided even more drama when David Filinger scored from the second penalty spot and Pablo Lanza was dismissed for a second bookable offence.
Group D: Asian promise
Through: Spain, Iran
Out: Czech Republic, Libya, Uruguay
After suffering a scare against Iran in their group opener, Spain increased in stature as the first phase progressed, establishing their credentials by keeping three successive clean sheets. Meanwhile, the Asian champions proved their 3-3 draw against the holders was no fluke, stringing together a trio of wins to claim second place. Their victims in the all-important decider were Czech Republic, who have much to look forward to in the short term. Fourth-placed Libya need to add some tactical steel to their exquisite talents, while Uruguay gained some valuable experience that ought to stand them in good stead.
Outstanding performers: Javi Rodriguez, Kike and Daniel (ESP); Vahid Shamsaee and Mohammad Taheri (IRN); Roman Mares (CZE); Mohamed Rahoma (LBY)