Spain are through to their fifth straight FIFA Futsal World Cup final after a 4-1 win against fellow Europeans Italy in Bangkok, Thailand – and will play holders Brazil in a repeat of the decider four years ago.
Venancio López's team earned the chance to avenge their penalties defeat by the Brazilians in 2008 by seeing off Italy with a strong second-half performance. Fortunate to be leading at half-time courtesy of a Saad Assis own goal, Spain had to recover from the setback of conceding an equaliser to Alex Merlim before eventually running away with the game.
Alemao had the perfect answer to Merlim's 29th-minute leveller by restoring the Spanish advantage within 11 seconds, before Lozano and Lin added further goals with Roberto Menichelli's team committing men forward. Italy had lost to the same opponents at the same stage four years previously.
"We didn't just win, we put on a real show," said Venancio afterwards, and more of the same may be required if Spain are to lift the trophy they also collected in 2000 and 2004. Brazil will be gunning for their fifth world crown – from this, the seventh edition of the tournament – in Sunday's final at the Huamark Indoor Stadium.
The reigning champions overcame a dogged Colombia side 3-1 thanks to a second-half strike by Gabriel and a Jhonathan Toro own goal, after the latter player had cancelled out Gabriel's opener.
Both the final and the third-place play-off take place at the Bangkok venue on Sunday.
Previous finals (hosts)
2008: Brazil 2-2, 4-3 pens Spain (Brazil)
2004: Spain 2-1 Italy (Chinese Taipei)
2000: Spain 4-3 Brazil (Guatemala)
1996: Brazil 6-4 Spain (Spain)
1992: Brazil 4-1 United States (Hong Kong)
1989: Brazil 2-1 Netherlands (Netherlands)
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