Four wins for in-form Italy

An experimental Italy squad gained four victories against Poland and fellow European finalists Serbia in a three-day friendly series.

An experimental Italy squad gained four victories against Poland and fellow UEFA European Futsal Championship finalists Serbia in a three-day friendly series in San Lazzaro di Savena.

Experimental squad
Azzurri coach Alessandro Nuccorini named a large squad including newcomers Saad Assis and Tosta, which he will have to cut to 14 for the finals in Porto from 16-25 November, but still extended his unbeaten run to 22 matches. They began on Monday with a 5-4 win against Poland, coming back from 3-0 and 4-2 down before captain Nando Grana struck with eight seconds left. Against the same opponents the following afternoon, Italy were more convincing and although they fell behind, Carlos Morgado equalised during the first half, and after the break Carlos Mantovanelli, Grana, Douglas Corsini and Erik Bellomo took the scoreline to 5-1.

Serbia defeated
Later that evening was the first meeting with Serbia, who had not previously lost under coach Aca Kovačević. Again late goals were the key as with two minutes to go the game was level before Italy struck twice to claim a 5-3 win. Edgar Bertoni scored a hat-trick and Adriano Foglia claimed the clincher. The next day Sandro Zanetti and Foglia put Italy two up at half-time and although Igor Šoša pulled one back for Serbia, the home side held on to win 2-1.

Right attitude
"We have a great season ahead of us," Foglia said. "We are used to playing to win in every tournament. If you wear the Italy shirt you cannot settle for second place. These kind of friendlies are very important. It would have been a huge mistake not to take them extremely seriously because they are crucial in preparing the squad in the best possible way."

Tosta's dream
Tosta, whose team play hosts Portugal, Romania and the Czech Republic in the group stage in Porto, added: "Entering this squad is a dream for me. This side is surely among the best in the world. Playing for Italy is the biggest joy in my career."