THE KL World 5's competition came to a disappointing end for the Three Lions in Malaysia.
China 7-3 England
KL World 5's
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Sunday 3 February 2008
Click here for fixtures and table
England's disappointing experience of the KL World 5's continued on Sunday, with a 3 - 7 defeat to China.
At the end of a schedule that has required five games in as many days, England faced up against a Chinese team who had struggled to compete against the other high quality opponents in Group B - Holland, Brazil, Iran and Thailand.
China have recently sought to accelerate their development to match that of many other Asian nations with the appointment of a Brazilian Futsal Coach - Fininiho. His influence can already be seen in the rapid progress that the Chinese have made in the recent Asian championships.
The Chinese team adopted a counter attacking approach, which given England's technical limitations in retaining the ball, presented them with regular opportunities. China took a three goal lead after only ten minutes before a chip from Mangotsfield's Luke Ballinger brought England back into the game.
The Three Lions continued to make chances only to miss them and further Chinese goals meant that the half time score was 1-5.
England began in the second half brightly to display some of the Futsal techniques and tactics that have been used to such devastating effect by their opponents.
As a consequence, they were much more competitive, although the superior attacking speed of their opponents was occasionally too good to match.
Tranmere Victoria's Paul Maddison scored to make the score 2 -6 before Alex Sykes confirmed hie eye for goal with a consolation strike in the later moments to make the score 3-7.
This has been a difficult trip for Graeme Dell's England team. The absence of five of his regular selections and the inclusion of two new faces has had an enormous impact in a competition of this quality.
England's reliance on footballers to make up the squad rather than specialist Futsal players has also been remarked upon by much of the Asian media.
The start up of three regional leagues in England at the begining of March may begin to provide the club structure to develop English players of the calibre to compete in the KL 5's in years to come.