GB hit for six by Lithuania

By Danny Caro, July 11, 2011

Jonny Cohen’s GB Open futsal squad were on the receiving end of a Lithuanian master-class as the red-hot favourites romped to a 6-1 victory in the semi-final.

Lithuania got off to a flying start, taking the lead with their first attack after just two minutes. They cut the GB defence to rippons with their pace, power and movement making them too hot to handle.

Another defence-splitting pass saw Danny Berliner beaten for a second time less than seven minutes into the first half.

The keeper did well to tip a rasping drive on to the bar as Lithuania dominated.

It took GB 11 minutes to muster a shot with Danny Sugarman stinging the hands of the keeper.

GB enjoyed a good phase of play with Sam Arghebant’s cross miscued by Lee Bibring.

The game became stretched as Berliner pushed a shot on to the woodwork but the pressure soon told as Lithuania netted a third.

At times, Lithuania played a direct game with their keeper launching long throws down the pitch. They gave GB a futsal lesson they will never forget.

It was soon 4-0 following another route one mood of precision that ended with a cross rifled home.

GB did not let their heads drop and, after dispossessing his marker, captain Motti Colman, the hat-trick hero of yesterday’s match, fired wide of an unguarded goal.

With the tension building, Colman was booked and GB were then indebted to two more fine saves from the alert Berliner.

GB continued to create chances with Arghebant’s shot flicked on by Russell Goldstein but the keeper rushed out to clear the danger.

Colman grabbed a consolation for his team with a run and powerful shot into the roof of the net.

Lithuania scored three goals in quick succession and a frustrating night for GB was capped off when manager Jonny Cohen was sent to the stands after Jamie Wolfson was elbowed in the head by the keeper.

Cohen told JC Sport: “We started off by playing the way we have trained to play but we couldn’t cope with their movement and passing ability.

“Lithuania are an excellent team and we wish them the best of luck in the final. Our aim has always been to take a medal and we have a chance against France tomorrow.

“This is a long-term project and I think the boys have really improved. We only lost the second half 2-1.”

Looking at the sport overall, Cohen added: “I think boys can play both 11-a-side and futsal. I think we have one or two boys here who could play futsal for the English national team.”

Lithuania will play Australia in the final tomorrow.

Last updated: 10:50pm, July 11 2011