England finished second in the Four Nation Tournament at the weekend and head coach Michael Skubala believes his team have enjoyed an invaluable experience in China.
The Three Lions kicked off with an impressive 5-0 victory over their hosts on Friday.
They followed up with a narrow 5-4 defeat to the much-fancied Czech Republic, but concluded the weekend with an emphatic 5-0 win against Malaysia.
- Four Nation Tournament
- Friday: 5-0 v China
- Saturday: 4-5 v Czech Republic
- Sunday: 5-0 v Malaysia
“It’s been a great learning experience for all of our futsal squad,” said Skubala.
“Putting in consistent performances is the most pleasing thing for me.”
Taking on a team ranked in the world’s top 20 on Saturday, England were always likely to be up against it
Yet they raced into a three-goal lead against Czech Republic when Russell Goldstein kept his cool to fire in from a goalmouth scramble, William Wallace then finished neatly into the corner and captain Raoni Medina netted on the break.
But Czech Republic pulled a goal back before the interval, which was to prove pivotal, with momentum swinging their way for the second half.
Wallace was sent off for incurring two yellow cards and Czech Republic capitalised to move 5-3 ahead before a late Three Lions’ consolation.
With everything still to play for in the final game, there was no breakthrough against a speedy Malaysian team by half-time.
But England stuck to their task and goals from Robbie Bettson, James Webb, Max Kilman, Medina – his fifth of the tournament to win the Golden Boot – and Liam Palfreeman secured second place.
England squad: Robert Bettson (York City), Mark Croft (Loughborough), Calvin Dickson (Helvecia), Jordan Edge (Manchester), Russell Goldstein (Helvecia), Maximilian Kilman (Genesis), Raoni Medina (Capt; Helvecia), Liam Palfreeman (Citta Di Falconara), Douglas Reed (Futsal Dynamo), Jonathan Simm (Helvecia), Toluwa Sotonye (Reading Escolla), William Wallace (Real Betis), Richard Ward (Helvecia), James Webb (Loughborough)