The official website for European football

Slovenia on top, big powers in front

Published: Wednesday 28 March 2012, 19.52CET
Slovenia could be headed for their first FIFA Futsal World Cup after a 2-0 play-off first-leg win against the Czech Republic, while Spain, Portugal, Russia and Italy look good in their ties.
Slovenia on top, big powers in front
Portugal's Gonçalo shoots for goal against Belarus ©Pressball
Published: Wednesday 28 March 2012, 19.52CET

Slovenia on top, big powers in front

Slovenia could be headed for their first FIFA Futsal World Cup after a 2-0 play-off first-leg win against the Czech Republic, while Spain, Portugal, Russia and Italy look good in their ties.

Slovenia could be on their way to their first FIFA Futsal World Cup while traditional powers Spain, Italy and Portugal look set fair for November's finals in Thailand after the first legs of the play-offs. UEFA.com rounds up the seven ties.

Hungary 1-0 Serbia (second leg 8 April)
Aiming for their first World Cup, Serbia must come from behind after Norbert Lovas exploited a defensive misunderstanding to tap in from close range with five minutes left in Gyongyos. The goal capped an impressive second-half display from Hungary, who had been on the back foot for most of the first 20 minutes.

Belarus 1-7 Portugal (second leg 10 April)
Portugal are on course for a fourth straight finals after Ricardinho hit top form in Minsk. His early goal was cancelled out by Aleksandr Chernik but Ricardinho went on to claim a hat-trick, with Arnaldo Pereira, Marinho, Jorge Fernandes and Cardinal also on target.

Slovenia 2-0 Czech Republic (second leg 11 April)
After a tactical encounter in Velenje, two swift breaks following intercepted passes midway through each half proved decisive with Alen Fetič and Rajko Uršič the scorers. The Czech Republic, qualifiers in 2004 and 2008, piled on the pressure late on but will have a difficult task in Prague.

Slovakia 0-4 Spain (second leg 10 April)
The only European team to qualify for every World Cup, Spain are aiming to to win back the trophy they lifted in 2000 and 2004. Having retained the European title in Croatia last month, Spain took just over 23 minutes to break the deadlock before taking command, Aicardo striking twice. Fernandao, who missed UEFA Futsal EURO 2012 through injury, was also on target with Rafael Usín scoring the other.

Spain coach José Venancio López said: "The result reflects the quality gap between the two teams, although Slovakia made our life hard, especially in the first half. We changed tactics and our way of thinking in the second half and finally prevailed. We are satisfied with our play in the second half and with the result as well."

Romania 0-4 Ukraine (second leg 8 April)
Ukraine used their fast counterattacking game to devastating effect and were 2-0 up within six minutes through Dmytro Fedorchenko and Stepan Struk. A slip allowed Yevgen Rogachov to make it three just before the break and the home side's task was made even harder when Serhiy Zhurba got the fourth, with Sito Rivera's team employing a flying goalkeeper.

Azerbaijan 2-3 Russia (second leg 9 April)
Two late Azerbaijan goals gave them hope of a World Cup debut though the three-time semi-finalists hold the edge. Russia, who were less than a minute from taking Spain's European title in February, dominated the first half but only had a Ivan Milovanov goal to show for their pressure.

Azerbaijan improved after the break but Sergei Sergeev scored twice for Russia. With four minutes left, though, impressive debutant Kaká reduced arrears as flying goalkeeper and in the dying seconds set up Ilkin Hajiyev to make the return in Tyumen intriguing.

Norway 0-5 Italy (second leg 11 April)
Playing their first-ever home game having progressed all the way from the preliminary round in their debut World Cup campaign, Norway were unable to match their illustrious visitors in Stjordals. Vampeta scored twice with Alessandro Patias, Gabriel Lima and Fortino also on target for Italy, runners-up in 2004 and third four years later.

Last updated: 07/12/12 14.39CET

http://www.uefa.com/futsalworldcup/news/newsid=1775378.html#slovenia+powers+front

  • © 1998-2014 UEFA. All rights reserved.
  • The UEFA word, the UEFA logo and all marks related to UEFA competitions, are protected by trade marks and/or copyright of UEFA. No use for commercial purposes may be made of such trade marks. Use of UEFA.com signifies your agreement to the Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy.