UEFA Futsal EURO round-up: Spain and Russia join Portugal and Ukraine in semi-finals

The UEFA Futsal EURO 2022 quarter-finals ended on Tuesday with two former champions beating newcomers in the final, with Russia knocking out Georgia and Spain beating Slovakia.

The last eight had started in exciting fashion at the Ziggo Dome in Amsterdam on Monday as holders Portugal were twice caught before ending Finland’s debut campaign. Ukraine then played their fourth semi-final, 17 years after their third, by eliminating one of the favorites, Kazakhstan. The semi-finals are on Friday with the decider two days later.

Road to the final

QUARTER-FINALS

Monday
Portugal 3-2 Finland
Kazakhstan 3-5 Ukraine

Tuesday
Russia 3-1 Georgia
Spain 5-1 Slovakia

SEMI-FINALS

friday 4 february
Ukraine vs Russia (5:00 p.m.)
Portugal vs Spain (8:00 p.m.) 

FINAL MATCH/THIRD PLACE

Sunday February 6
Match for third place
: Portugal/Spain vs Ukraine/Russia (5:30 p.m., Amsterdam)
Final
: Portugal/Spain vs Ukraine/Russia (5:30 p.m., Amsterdam)

All CET kick-offs

Tuesday

Spain 5-1 Slovakia

Spain celebrate victory after full timePNA via Getty Images

Spain qualified for the semi-finals of 12 futsal EUROs and Slovakia never had a real chance of winning a first round of 16. Fede Vidal’s side led in the second minute as Sergio Lozano, earning his 100th cap, played in a side free kick for Mellado to crush. Lozano, understandably, wasn’t happy with an assist and doubled the lead with an angled left-footed kick. . It was three at half-time when Raúl Campos’s sliced ​​goal trumped Marek Karpiak.

Early in the second half, Slovakia flying keeper Martin Směřička tipped a long-range effort from Boyis outside the box and was sent off, Mellado scoring from the free kick, again played by Lozano. Peter Serbin earned a consolation for Slovakia but soon after Borja’s incisive ball was returned by Raúl Campos. Spain can now prepare for a rematch of the 2018 final (and many other epic encounters) with Portugal.

key fact: Spain captain Ortiz equaled Luis Amado’s record of 33 final appearances.

Sergio Lozano, Spanish player“Today is a dream come true. To have worn this jersey and represented my country 100 times is an honor. To say that at this time last year I was worried that I would never play for my country again; to play a 100th game, score a goal, get two assists and qualify for the semi-final, it’s incredible.

Marián Berky, Slovakia coach: “On the one hand we’ve been in a dream and just woke up, but on the other hand I’m happy – I couldn’t be more proud of my players and my team. I hoped we wouldn’t be awake by Spain but we were! These games can help our players in their future career. They understood that they have to improve and I hope it will motivate them to work on the next stage of their career.”

Russia 3-1 Georgia

Although Georgia became the first debutants since 2010 to win their first two games, they also lost their last group game against Spain by a record 8-0 margin. They needed to hold off their opponents, who scored 16 goals in their three group wins. 42-year-old Georgia goalkeeper Zviad Kupatadze, who has been playing in Russia since 2003, was crucial to achieving this in the first half with a string of saves. Sergei Abramov also hit a post.

However, just over two minutes into the second half, Artem Niyazov opened the scoring with a shot from just inside the box. Georgia, however, reacted immediately when Elisandro’s cross was turned by Bruno Petry.


Georgia goalkeeper Zviad Kupatadze (right) made a string of fine saves, including from longtime Russian league rival Sergei Abramov

Georgia goalkeeper Zviad Kupatadze (right) made a string of fine saves, including from longtime Russian league rival Sergei AbramovUEFA via Getty Images

Kupatadze converted a shot from Abramov at the post, but Russia quickly regained the lead when Ivan Chishkala brilliantly met Robinho’s corner with a flying volley. Even after that, Russia had the best chance, with Robinho hitting a late free-kick against the bar. Although with seconds to go Putilov had to make a crucial double save, Chishkala claimed victory with a long shot into an unguarded Georgian net.

Ivan Chishkala, Russian player: “We were able to win tonight, showing our great fighting spirit, but I have to admit that luck was on our side too because our goalkeeper had a fantastic game. We had to give everything because Georgia played a great game . was extremely difficult. We had a lot of shots on target, but their keeper did an amazing job.”

Avtandik Asatiani, Georgia coach: “I like my team because my players do everything for me. Russia are a top team and for us it was very difficult, but we played in the quarter-finals. For us it’s the history – first time at the EURO and I feel fantastic here. The most important thing was to gain experience because it was our first EURO.”

key fact: Russia have won all ten games in their campaign so far, including qualifying – nine was already a record.

Monday

Portugal 3-2 Finland


Highlights: Portugal 3-2 Finland

Highlights: Portugal 3-2 Finland

The holders went through but the other of the three debutants in the record final to make the last eight pushed them all the way. Finland pressed early but the holders took the lead in the fourth minute when Pany Varela showed acceleration down the left and crossed for Afonso Jesus to convert. The equalizer came six minutes later as Henri Alamikkotervo fired a trademark free-kick that Miika Hosio torsoed at the far post. Afonso struck again, however, connecting with Bruno Coelho’s kick.

It looked like Finland were on the back foot, but just under seven minutes into the second half they equalized with a kick of their own, Jukka Kytölä’s ball was allowed in sweetness by Captain Panu Autio. But Portugal haven’t gone unbeaten in competition since the 2016 World Cup without reacting to setbacks and Miguel Ângelo’s neat footwork and leading angled shot made it 3-2.

Finland gave everything to equalise, especially Autio in their last international after 16 years, 149 games and 101 goals, but they fell, the buzzer even going off just before a long range effort from Pany not happen. After the match, Finnish coach Mico Martić ended his one-year reign.


Coelho on Portugal's victory

Coelho on Portugal’s victory

Bruno Coelho, Portuguese player: “We knew it was going to be a difficult game. Finland are very strong physically and they play really well. They are very pragmatic and we knew it was going to be difficult but we were always very focused for the whole 40 minutes and we managed to win.”

Panu Autio, captain of Finland“Finland can keep improving. We have a huge futsal fan base in Finland, a lot of great young talent in the team, who can grow as players with this experience. A new generation is coming! It’s been a long journey. I have “I have been with the national team for 16 years. I played a final phase. A dream come true ! I’m happy to have been able to live this experience as a player.”

Key stat: Portugal are in their fifth semi-final in seven editions.

Kazakhstan 3-5 Ukraine


Highlights: Kazakhstan 3-5 Ukraine

Highlights: Kazakhstan 3-5 Ukraine

Missing the suspended Taynan and Edson, Kazakhstan started brightly but Ukraine managed to keep them and led through a 14th-minute penalty crushed by Petro Shoturma after Ihor Korsen was knocked down just inside the surfaced by Azat Valiullin, who had been a pre-match injury doubt. Douglas Junior passed twice just before half-time, hitting the crossbar at close range.

At the start of the second half, Korsen superbly doubled the lead as he ran over Mykhailo Zvarych’s long pass, controlled the volley and hit Higuita. As the Kazakhstan keeper moved up, Zvarych fired the ball into an empty net for the third and Ukraine nearly got more in the same style. However, Douglas Junior pulled one back with a feint and strike seven minutes from time, and a frantic finish ensued.

There were just over two minutes left when Birzhan Orazov took another, and extra time was definitely on the way. Except within 48 seconds, Volodymyr Razuvanov and Yaroslav Lebid had struck from deep within Ukraine’s half with Kazakhstan’s goal unguarded. Orazov had time to score the seventh goal of the tournament to lead the final, but Kazakhstan’s time was up.


Ukrainian Ihor Cherniavskyi and full-time coach Oleksandr Kosenko

Ukrainian Ihor Cherniavskyi and full-time coach Oleksandr KosenkoGetty Images

Ihor Khorsun, Ukrainian player: “For me it’s a big emotion and like a dream. We worked very hard for it. I was a great game, so many chances for both teams, and that’s why I feel so emotional We will find more energy for the next game – there are things that maybe only happen once in your life, so you have to give it your all We believed in it from the start, we were just ready and from the first second we played to win.”

Higuita, captain of Kazakhstan: “This defeat hurts a lot but we knew that Ukraine were a very competitive team. We prepared for this game to the limit but then we conceded a goal and everything became more difficult for us. We were missing important players but congratulations to the Ukraine. As for us, we are leaving and we will try to concentrate on our next objective, life goes on.

Key stat: Ukraine snapped a five-game losing streak in the quarter-finals to advance to the last four for the first time since 2005.

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