May 23, 2017
The IFA Media Team were treated to 18 excellent futsal matches, with plenty of talented individuals on show. In this post tournament article, we pick out our ten top performers over the course of the tournament (in no particular order).
Daniella Chamoun – Sweden
Arguably the most influential player of the tournament. She anchored the team from the back, won the ball and drove the side forward. She knew where the net was too, scoring for fun in the opener and further big goals as the event progressed. Unfortunately, she let herself down in the France match, missing out on the Australia semi-final. Her absence was extremely apparent, as her team couldn’t reach the same level as with her in the side. Despite that, for four excellent games, she deserves her place in the top ten.
Gabriella Batmani – USA
The goalkeeper with the most solid performances throughout the tournament. Gabriella will be remembered by the fans for pulling off some cracking saves against France and Sweden and for the spectacular save she made with ten seconds to go against Australia in the final. She is without a doubt the goalkeeper of the tournament and a key member of the USA squad.
Irantzu Iparraguirre – Basque
Basque came into the tournament as underdogs, given their average age. However, their team spirit was evident from the start and the spectators took them to their hearts. Nobody more so than goalkeeper Iparraguirre. She performed heroics to keep out shot after shot, throwing herself at the feet of strikers on numerous occasions. A bright prospect for the future, alongside many of her team-mates.
Jessika Cowart – USA
Cowart was outstanding for the champions from start to finish. Her movement off the ball created space, her linkup play was a joy to watch and she scored vital goals in the big matches. A tireless worker, who epitomised her team’s never say die attitude.
Margot Robinne – France
Despite their bad luck throughout the group stages, France performed consistently well – especially given their lack of squad depth. Robinne was the pick of the bunch with a tenacious style of play, pressing opponents, winning the ball back and constantly threatening in attack. Deserves her place in the top ten and several of her team-mates can consider themselves unlucky not to be joining her.
Nazanin Vaseghpanah – Sweden
The Swedish number ten was one of the outstanding players of the tournament and certainly the local fans’ favourite. From scoring spectacular goals to being one of the most gifted technical players on show, Vaseghpanah is a strong all round player which is capable of playing any role and position in the team at a high standard and a very strong leader and character. Her first time chip from outside the box against Spain was a moment of magic.
Raleigh Loughman – USA
MVP in the final and MVP in the group match against Sweden after scoring a crucial last minute equaliser. Loughman oozed quality on the ball and her turn of pace caused countless problems for the opposition. A good position sense and vital contributor to her team’s success.
Rhianna Pollicina – Australia
Her nickname may have been ‘Mini’ but there was nothing small about Pollicina’s contribution to the tournament. She scored a stunning goal to kickstart her team’s comeback in the opening match and an equally impressive strike when the chips were down in the final. She was a nuisance to opposition defences throughout and can reflect on an excellent tournament from start to finish.
Shannon Day – Australia
One of the best all round players of the tournament. She was equally comfortable making a last ditch tackle as she was running at defenders and causing problems in the opposition half. She popped up with a number of vital goals and was a key player in Australia’s run to the final.
Svetlana Nikolskaia – Russia
A key player for Russia, which was evident by the fact she barely ever left the court. She was a vital part of her team’s solid defence and equally, if not more so, important going forwards. She scored a fantastic goal on the opening day and continued to bang in the goals as the tournament went on.