The Netherlands – with a Mohamed Attaibi goal 78 seconds from time – Romania, Ukraine and Croatia completed the lineup for UEFA Futsal EURO 2014 on Tuesday with play-off victories and UEFA.com rounds up the reaction from the four ties.
Eight teams had previously booked their places in the finals in Antwerp from 28 January to 8 February: hosts Belgium, holders Spain and their fellow March main round group winners Italy, Russia, Slovenia, Portugal, Azerbaijan and the Czech Republic. The finals draw is on 4 October.
Netherlands 2-1 Bosnia and Herzegovina (agg: 4-4, Netherlands win on away goals)
Marcel Loosveld, Netherlands coach
This is a reward for our recent hard work. We are back among the 12 best teams in Europe. And on the basis of the two matches I also think it is deserved. Towards the end I purposely didn't opt for a flying goalkeeper. We were the better team at that moment and I knew we could force something with creative guys like [Mohamed] Darri, Attaibi and [Najib] El Allouchi ... And yes, then everything falls into place!
Najib El Allouchi, Netherlands forward
This time we had luck on our side – often it has been the other way around. Since early August we have trained hard and really lived for these play-offs. Now we may go to Antwerp, which is actually a home match for us. It would be nice if we could welcome a lot of Dutch fans there. This is a huge boost for us.
Samir Makhoukhi, Netherlands captain
This is fantastic. I will remember this night for a long time, especially the way we qualified. This group has a lot of potential and the EURO is a fantastic stage. But we must not go there with the idea "we will see what happens". We also want to show something.
Boro Matan, Bosnia and Herzegovina coach
I said before the second leg, we are in a favourable position, but beyond that we need to have a good match and more luck. It was all in our hands, but in the end we conceded the unfortunate goal and lost qualification. However, we cannot be unsatisfied with our results overall.
Hungary 5-4 Ukraine (agg: 6-6, Ukraine win on away goals)
Yevgen Ryvkin, Ukraine coach
I have to say Hungary were the better team today and they have a very well-qualified coach who has helped them a lot. They played a very interesting brand of futsal and the crowd was very influential. At times in this tie we lost our way but the away goal gave us the platform today to stay in control of the match when we needed.
Sito Rivera, Hungary coach
We have been working together for a month now and while we have improved in some very key areas, we still have to learn to eliminate certain basic mistakes that even kids are taught about early on. The gap between the teams in the rankings is 21 places but we won today and fought so hard at times when the situation was against us – for example, when we were 4-2 down. Our opponents showed they are a bit more experienced than us and knew how to react and where to be at certain times, so we can see what we need to learn. There were lots of positives today and our project is on the right course.
Serbia 2-7 Romania (agg: 3-9)
Nelu Stancea, Romania coach
It is only my second match in charge as head coach, but that doesn't matter. All the praise belongs to the lads, who played a superb match, perfect from the point of view of the tactics used and respected, and really a game played with their hearts, with lots of self-sacrifice. We defeated the higher-rated team and I have to congratulate everybody around me – the players, technical, medical and administrative staff, everybody who supported me.
Aca Kovačević, Serbia coach
We paid the price for a lot of missed chances. I saw errors in our game, from minute to minute, and the experienced Romanian team simply punished us. We must work on our futsal base, make our clubs stronger and prepare ourselves for 2016 [which Serbia hosts in Belgrade]. After years of success, we will miss a championship, but I believe we will come back stronger than we are at the moment. In the second half we lost confidence and the result is a product of that.
Croatia 4-0 Slovakia (agg: 7-1)
Mato Stanković, Croatia coach
I am delighted, my boys were better than the excellent Slovakia. I am happy that the fans in Dubrovnik saw a good game, they saw a strong Slovakia and the result was even better than our play. Slovakia had chances when it was 0-0, even when we scored to go 1-0. We were a bit nervous before the match, because we were just a step from EURO.
Ján Janík, Slovakia coach
We played well in the first half, hitting the post twice. But then we conceded. We said during the break, we still want to press, but there was one condition – not to concede more goals. But our tactics fell apart quickly when Croatia scored again at the start of the second half. The last ten minutes we played with a flying goalkeeper, but to no effect. I regret that we didn't qualify, but we don't have the individual talents of Croatia – the likes of [Dario] Marinovič, [Tihomir] Novak, [Jakov] Grcič.
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