UEFA European Futsal Championship hosts Hungary continued their preparations for next January's finals with a maiden trip to Africa for a three-team tournament in Libya last week.
Coach Mihály Kozma took a mixture of established players and new prospects to the Shultat Shaab Cup, which also included Albania, whose European campaign ended in last month's preliminary round. In the opening game Hungary took on reigning African and Arab champions Libya, who took part in the 2008 FIFA Futsal World Cup finals, holding Uruguay to a draw and only narrowly losing to Spain, the Czech Republic and Iran. Goals from Péter Sivák and Gábor Nagy ensured Hungary earned a 2-2 draw, ending Libya's run of eight straight wins since the World Cup.
Two days later, Hungary defeated Albania 8-2 in a game which allowed Kozma to use some of his younger players, with Gábor Csernai claiming a hat-trick, Ákos Harnisch scoring twice and Nagy, László Tamás and Péter Frank also on target. Libya were to win the competition on goal difference with a 10-3 win against Albania, but Hungary's Gyula Tóth was named as goalkeeper of the tournament. Kozma said: "It was a nice opportunity for us to play international games and we were able to carry out what we have practised together, especially in the first 20 minutes against Albania." Hungary will discover their eleven fellow finalists when qualifying is played from 19-22 March. The finals run from 19-30 January in Budapest and Debrecen.
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