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Russia Rises as Dominant Force as FIFA Futsal World Cup Enters Quarterfinals

By Tim Sheldon

11/13/2012

As we enter the Quarterfinals of the FIFA Futsal World Cup, we see Russia as the dominant force. Going by the statistics, Russia should defeat Spain and continue on to the Semifinals, where they will defeat Ukraine, and then to the Final, where they will down Brazil and hoist the Futsal World Cup.

russia futsal.jpg (11272 bytes)Spain-Russia: Spain won its group but was held to a 2-2 draw by Iran and are 22-7 in goals for an against, fourth highest of the finalists. Spain has given up at least one goal to all of its opponents. Russia is undefeated and are 30-0 in goals for and against. Every team that Spain has faced has been able to score on them. Spain has no players in the Top 20 in scoring. Russia has three, including the scoring leader, Eder Lima. No one wants to pick against Spain, but based on the statistics we'll give the edge to Russia.

(Photo: No has scored on Russia yet in the FIFA Futsal World Cup.)

Argentina-Brazil: Brazil is a very popular favorite to win the Cup. They ran through their group undefeated with 20 goals for and two against, and then flattened Panama 16-0 in the Round of 16. Argentina finished second in their group behind Italy and were 14-5 in goals for and against. Argentina are sixth in team scoring, but have had no weak opponents to run up the score on. Their top scorer, Cristian Borruto, is 14th overall. Brazil's Fernandinho is second, Je is fourth and Rodrigo ninth. Brazil has Falcao back from an injury, while Argentina has lost Matias Lucuix. Argentina has been our surprise pick to win the World Cup after winning CONMEBOL ahead of Brazil, but the statistics favor Brazil.

Colombia-Ukraine: Colombia lost to Guatemala and Russia in group play, defeating only the Solomon Islands. Not very impressive, but they were able to surprise Iran 2-1 in the Round of 16. Ukraine won its group and downed Japan 6-3 in the Round of 16. We would have to pick Ukraine because of their overall performance, but Colombia is peaking now and could win it.

Portugal-Italy: Italy is undefeated and won their group ahead of Argentina. They then defeated Egypt 5-1 in the Round of 16. Portugal finished second in its group behind Brazil with a loss and a draw and have given up 10 goals, tying them with Ukraine for second most in the Round of 16. Italy would be the clear pick here.

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