Russia's first taste of success

Konstantin Eremenko was the hero as Russia won the first UEFA European Futsal Championship.

Old UEFA European Futsal Championship trophy
©UEFA.com

Russia captured their first UEFA title when the acclaimed Konstantin Eremenko converted from the penalty spot in a shoot-out against hosts Spain to claim the first UEFA European Futsal Championship.

Locked at 1-1 at half-time, even a goal glut of four strikes in 88 seconds failed to prise these two evenly-matched rivals apart as the final ended 3-3. It took two saves from Russian goalkeeper Oleg Denissov in the shoot-out and a perfect record of four goals from four attempts by his team-mates to secure a hard-earned win.

The competition was held in the Andalusian city of Granada, and the hosts breezed into the semi-final with wins against Group A rivals Netherlands, Croatia and Yugoslavia. The Netherlands' 8-3 defeat of Croatia in their final game earned them a semi-final meeting with Russia, who had advanced through Group B undefeated against Italy, Portugal and Belgium.

In the semi-finals Spain beat Italy 3-1 while Russia defeated the Netherlands 9-6 in an open encounter. The final would prove a tighter affair, but the outcome would again be in Russia's favour.

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