Indian Premier Futsal League 2017: Semi-Finals Results and Championship Schedule

Tom Sunderland@@TomSunderland_Featured ColumnistSeptember 30, 2017

Ronaldhino (2R) from the Goa 5's plays against Kolkata 5's during their Premier Futsal Football League match in Chennai on July 15, 2016. / AFP / ARUN SANKAR        (Photo credit should read ARUN SANKAR/AFP/Getty Images)
ARUN SANKAR/Getty Images

Delhi Dragons will face the Mumbai Warriors in the final of this season's Indian Premier Futsal League after defeating respective semi-final opponents Bengaluru Royals and Telugu Tigers in their second-leg meetings on Saturday.

Ronaldinho led the Dragons to a proud 8-4 triumph over Bengaluru and scored a hat-trick of goals to complement his side's late surge, overpowering the Royals, who were led by Manchester United legend Paul Scholes.

But one Red Devils icon will feature in the final after Ryan Giggs' Warriors bested Telugu Tigers 4-1 to make it into the competition's curtain call.

Unlike Ronaldinho and former team-mate Scholes, Giggs failed to get on the scoresheet in his semi-final second leg, although neither could Telugu's star man, Deco, as the Tigers fell out at the penultimate hurdle.

The second Indian Premier Futsal League final will take place on Sunday at the Al Wasl Indoor Stadium in Dubai, with Ronaldinho and Giggs set to meet in a clash of vintage football icons.

        

Saturday's Second-Leg Results (Aggregate)

Delhi Dragons 8-4 Bengaluru Royals (12-8)

Telugu Tigers 1-4 Mumbai Warriors (6-8)

             

The futsal drama continued in Dubai on Saturday as the four remaining teams made their last efforts to reach Sunday's final, having seen out two extremely tight first-leg matchups on Friday evening.

Saturday's first second-leg matchup began in similar fashion, and the Dragons trailed 2-1 at the halfway mark, with marquee names Ronaldinho and Scholes each on the scoresheet for their respective teams.

But Delhi came out a different team after the break and blitzed Bengaluru 3-1 in the third quarter, with Ronaldinho tricking his way to a second strike and Nicolas Rolon scoring on the whistle to give the Dragons a lead for the first time heading into the final 10 minutes.

The tortoise ended up winning the race, too, as despite their slow start, Delhi again won the fourth quarter 3-1, with Ronaldinho, Ismail Hamdaoui and goalkeeper Franco Starna helping complete an 8-4 revival rout:

Telugu and Mumbai were also separated by the finest of margins early on in their evening encounter, where Mauro Canal and Rico Zulkarnain provided the goals for their respective teams to draw 1-1 at half-time.

But it was at this point that the Warriors found a more vicious streak and rained down three second-half goals without response to reach their second successive Indian Premier Futsal League final:

Former United marvel Giggs was the man who led Mumbai to the inaugural title last year and appears to be having the same boosting effect in 2017, with Ronaldinho's Dragons standing in his side's way.

Both veterans have had a significant impact in helping guide their respective outfits to the decider in Dubai, and they are poised to collide on Sunday as Giggs attempts to win back-to-back crowns and maintain his perfect record in the competition.