EMG OPEN FUTSAL BRONZE PLAYOFF
GB 2 FRANCE 0
Two goals from Russell Goldstein helped GB take bronze as they ran out deserved winners against France.
GB started well with Jonathan Green and Danny Sugarman testing the keeper early on.
Green spurned a golden opening after three minutes following great work from Ben Sollosi who dispossessed a French player deep inside opposition territory.
GB went even closer when Steve Summers held the ball up well with his back to goal before feeding Motti Colman who rifled a shot against the post.
France rallied with GB stopper Danny Berliner forced into a fine double save.
Jonny Cohen's troops were on the front foot, surging forward with great intent. A move involving Adam Klein and Sugarman ended with Goldstein forcing another good save from the keeper.
GB continued to pepper the France goal with Sollosi the next to try his luck.
A big GB following breathed a sigh of relief on 12 minutes when France scored direct from a free-kick but the strike was ruled out as no-one else had touched the ball.
The deadlock was broken after 17 minutes. An incisive pass from Klein was fumbled by the keeper and Goldstein was on hand to rifle home to give GB a deserved lead.
Green was denied by the keeper as the match became stretch but it was GB who went in at the break a goal to the good.
The second half started as the first ended with Colman flashing a shot inches wide.
Sam Arghebant passed up a great opening when he failed to hit the target from close range.
The Brits were given a let off as France hit the post from a yard - a miss worse than Ronnie Rosenthal against Aston Villa.
France were showing signs of frustration as they were unable to breach a well-drilled GB defence and their point-man was lucky to stay on the pitch after stamping on Goldstein.
GB continued to threaten with Colman denied by another smart save.
The all-important second goal arrived after 31 minutes Green played a sharp one-two with Goldstein before the Ilford FC player coolly slotted home.
France upped the tempo with Berliner saving again and another gilt-edge miss helped maintain a 2-0 advantage.
GB were determined to keep a clean sheet and Berliner was alert to save at his near post amid some heroic defending.
Goldstein then had a chance to complete a memorable hat-trick but he found the side-netting.
The final whistle sounded amid mass celebration with the GB boys celebrating a deserved medal.
GB manager Jonny Cohen said: “I’m so proud of each and every one of the boys as we wanted to achieve at least the bronze. We’ve fulfilled that aim.
“Futsal is a complete team game, more than any other. To win a medal here is hugely exciting.
“This is the beginning. Hopefully we can take it on from here.”
Coach Danny Berg said: “The boys have been top-class. They have all worked hard.
“When I came in they needed a bit more belief. They have responded to everything that Jonny, Motti Colman, Danny Sugarman and myself have asked. France just couldn’t deal with us.
“Everyone had minutes on the pitch and we scored goals from all positions. It’s a very proud day.
Matchwinner Russell Goldstein said: “We have a great manager and a great coach. I got a bit lucky with the first goal but we played with great discipline and it was a great team performance.
“I’m ecstatic to have won a medal. It’s the best thing I’ve achieved in football so far.
“It’s an indescribable feeling to score two goals in such an important match.”
Lithuania take on Australia in the final later today.