Graeme Dell's men restored some pride in their final qualifier but it wasn't enough to beat Macedonia.
Macedonia 4-1 England
2008 FIFA Futsal World Cup Qualification Round
Sunday 2 March
England’s Futsal players restored some pride here in Gyongyos despite falling to Macedonia 4-1 in their last group 4 Qualification game for this year's FIFA Futsal World Cup Finals.
Graeme Dell will be heartened by a spirited performance from his young team carrying out much of the technical work which they should have shown in their previous two games earlier this week.
Macedonia had shown earlier how strong they are as a Futsal nation by keeping within four goals of both Hungary and Poland and were sure to test England to the limits.
With the Head Coach only able to use eight outfield players due to injuries and players being called back by their clubs his hands were somewhat tied in how to play and with which combinations.
The half-time score of 2-0 flattered Macedonia as England gifted them a first goal through lack of concentration but succumbed to a well worked piece for the second.
England’s much improved movement and ball possession almost paid dividends when Shame Gill was unjustly adjudged to have fouled the Macedonian ‘keeper on 12 minutes and had his goal disallowed.
The second half produced much of the same and despite Macedonia adding another brace, Sam Tucknott was able to score a well-worked consolation goal for England to the delight of the 2,000 spectators rammed into the arena.
England have won many fans here in Hungary this week with their tireless work and persistence but the nation's lack of experience of Futsal has come substantially to the fore.
Dell was somewhat philosophical in his post match press conference.
"We have to be realistic about where we are with this game in England," he said. "But that’s been a common statement from me for three years now. We have to understand in England why this Futsal team keeps losing international fixtures like we do.
"We know about the game and how it's played, having studied it for some time now, but we don’t yet have the Futsal mentality or the support structures to produce the players.
"These lads try their best but that effort doesn’t win you matches on its own, it needs the other ingredients to complete the package but not simply five-a-side backgrounds.
"We have a lot of investment and learning to do which has to be beyond what we think we know and what we think is enough whilst the investment and learning cycle can never be complete and it has to be continuous. They played much better tonight and for that they should be congratulated."
So, with Hungary beating Poland 6-2 in tonight’s final group game and securing their place in the next qualification round, Group 4 has gone very much to form and ranking.