Preview: Futsalroos v Mozambique

The Futsalroos squad following a friendly against Kazakhstan.
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The time for talking is over as the Futsalroos prepare for their opening match at the FIFA Futsal World Cup in Colombia as they kick-off their campaign against African Qualifiers Mozambique at the Coliseo Bicentenario in Bucaramanga.

Head Coach Rob Varela has a full and fit squad to select from heading into what could be a crucial match in the Futsalroos quest to create history and become the first Australian side to make the knock-out stages of the tournament.

“We have done as much homework as we can on Mozambique and are well aware of the challenge that they pose us,” said Varela.

“They have some superb individual players with excellent technique and we are under no illusions that this will be a stern test of our credentials.

“But, if we are serious in our goal of getting out of the group stages and creating a little piece of Futsalroos history, then we must start the tournament on the front foot and, in order to do that, we need to take maximum points from this match.

"Our preparation has been good and we are in the right frame of mind to get off to a positive start.”

With the shadow of five-times World Champions Brazil and the might of Ukraine lurking just around the corner, Varela is well aware of the importance of claiming a win on the opening night.

“This is very much like a Grand Final for us,” Varela admitted. “To stand any realistic chance of making the last sixteen we must get off to a good start and three points against Mozambique is all-important.

“The group is a tough one for us but, if we play to our strengths, keep possession and take the opportunities that come our way, then it is a negotiable group.

"All four teams will think they have a chance of making it into the last sixteen and I am certain that Mozambique have the same goals as us.

"It’s up to us to make sure we are the ones in prime position to qualify following this match.”

The Futsalroos last played African opposition at the FIFA Futsal World Cup 1996 tournament when they were beaten by Egypt in Murcia, Spain.

They have won one match at an official FIFA Futsal World Cup, the stunning 3-1 success over Mexico in the 2012 edition held in Thailand.

Futsalroos squad

1. Angelo KONSTANTINOU, 2. Adam COOPER, 3. Jarrod BASGER, 4. Gregory GIOVENALI, 5. Blake ROSIER, 6. Wade GIOVENALI, 7. Tobias SEETO, 8. Jonathan BARRIENTOS, 9. Christopher ZEBALLOS, 10. Daniel FOGARTY, 11. Dean LOCKHART, 12. Roberto MAIORANA, 13. Shervin KESHAVARZ ADELI, 14. Peter SPATHIS

Broadcast details

Australia v Mozambique is Live on SBS TV on Monday 12th September, coverage starts at 6.50am.

This article was originally published at: http://www.footballaustralia.com.au/article/preview-futsalroos-v-mozambique/up871l8qm07a1641ctejxy71x.