Victory fillip for Ukraine

Ukraine look in good shape for November's UEFA European Futsal Championship finals after two impressive friendly victories against Latvia this week in Lvov.

Ukraine look in good shape for November's UEFA European Futsal Championship after two impressive friendly victories against Latvia.

Magnificent seven
Gennadiy Lysenchuk's team won 7-1 on Monday and 5-0 a day later, and the coach – who tried out a wide selection of players ahead of naming his 14-man squad for the Porto-based tournament – was pleased with the displays. Playing at the home of UEFA Futsal Cup contenders FC Energia Lviv, Ukraine took the lead on Monday after Valeriy Zamyatin and Oleksandr Khursov combined to set up Serhiy Cheporniuk, and although Andrejs Aleksejevs equalised ten seconds later, Sergiy Taranchuk restored Ukraine's advantage. Vitaliy Belous, Roman Vakhula, Khursov and Zamyatin enhanced that cushion, before Dmytro Sylchenko scored his first goal for Ukraine.

Latvian resistance
Twenty-four hours later, it took the hosts seven minutes to break the deadlock through Taranchuk, and Vakhula made it 2-0 after a similar interval. For all the confident play of Lysenchuk's side, however, Latvia stood firm and only conceded again shortly before full time when Belous, twice, and Cheporniuk added further goals.

Right attitude
The coach said: "I am happy the lads treated these games, in which we were able to experiment, seriously. This will help us in the future. I would not call the victories against Latvia easy ones. Yes, we were better in terms of individual skill and physical fitness, but we did not need to get a result at all costs." Two-time finalists Ukraine open their Group B fixtures at the European Futsal Championship against holders Spain on 17 November, before meeting Russia and Serbia.