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Seventh Heaven for Kazakhstan After Demolition of Poland in the World Cup Qualifying Round

Seventh Heaven for Kazakhstan After Demolition of Poland in the World Cup Qualifying Round
Kazakhstan celebrate their huge win over Poland (Photo credit: Eduard Gavrish)

Kazakhstan wiped out the memories about their unimpressive performance in the first leg by cruising past Poland in the spectacular home game to reach the 2016 FIFA Futsal World Cup finals in Colombia.

The entire Baluan Sholak Sports Palace in Almaty erupted loudly with every goal the host team put past their opponents before ascending into a total euphoria when the referee blew the final whistle.

It was absolutely understandable as Kazakhstan sealed their place at the World Cup for the second time in their history, with the first one being during their Asian spell.

Following a 1-1 draw Poland have stolen with a last-gasp leveller in Szczecin three weeks earlier, there were some expectations of a tense and nervous return leg.

But Polish dreams have been blown away ruthlessly by strong and convincing display from Kazakhstan who confirmed their high level earned at the EURO 2016.

It took less than two minutes for Cacau's men to open the scoring as goalkeeper Higuita slotted the ball into the top of the net with aplomb.

Before the interval, Serik Zhamankulov and Douglas Jr. stepped up to fire a brace each, making things a lot worse for struggling Poland.

In the second half, Leo and Arnold Knaub netted to complete the thrashing as Kazakhstan secured their Colombia 2016 berth with a vast aggregate 8-1 triumph.

Kazakhstan forward Serik Zhamankulov scored twice in a 7-0 win over Poland
Serik Zhamankulov (5) scored twice in Kazakhstan's 7-0 rout of Poland (Photo credit: Eduard Gavrish)

"For me, all my players are heroes, they are playing for the country, not for money. I'm very proud of them," said Cacau.

"Some people think that I am a fool because of my risky tactical approach. But it would be foolish if you don't use it when you have the world's best goalkeeper in Higuita.

"It's a big honour to train Kazakhstan. We managed to qualify [for the World Cup finals] because everyone in the squad gave his maximum on the pitch.

"The victory also belongs to all of my technical staff – the players were in good form, you could see that.

"Now it's time for some celebrations, then we'll start our preparations for the World Cup."

2016 FIFA Futsal World Cup Qualification Playoffs, 2nd leg

Kazakhstan v Poland 7-0 (5-0), agg 8-1
12/04/2016, Baluan Sholak Sports Palace (Almaty). Ref: Sorescu (ROU), Gherman (ROU).
KAZ: Higuita, Shamro – Leo, Dovgan, Pershin, Douglas Jr., Knaub, Grebonos, Zhamankulov, Pengrin, Suleimenov, Mun, Taku, Murzabayev. HC: Cacau (BRA).
POL: Krzyśka, Nawrat – Pater, Zastawnik, Mikołajewicz, Kaczmar, Wojciechowski, Mizgajski, Solecki, Lutecki, Jakubiak, Marek, Gladczak. HC: Andrzej Bianga.
Goals: 1-0 Higuita (2), 2-0 Zhamankulov (5), 3-0 Douglas Jr. (6), 4-0 Zhamankulov (13), 5-0 Douglas Jr. (15), 6-0 Leo (26), 7-0 Knaub (30).
YC: Knaub (30).

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