Italy qualified for the FIFA Futsal World Cup taking place in Brazil after a 3-0 win in Croatia gave them a 9-3 aggregate victory over their hosts.
Having won the first leg 6-3, Italy were always in control in the return in Ploče. Croatia coach Mićo Marić said before the match that "victory would be a fantasy and the World Cup a real dream", but despite holding their visitors to a scoreless first half, the dream evaporated as the hosts leaked goals in the second period after leaving Italy space in their increasing urgency to get back into the play-off. Defenders Douglas Corsini, a minute after half-time, and Patrick Nora, six minutes later sealed the tie and Napoli forward Sandro Zanetti completed the scoring ten minutes from time.
Italy's qualification means that all five of Europe's contenders four years ago in Chinese Taipei – the Azzurri, holders Spain, Ukraine, the Czech Republic and Portugal – will also be present in Brazil. Taking the remaining berth in Europe's expanded allocation of six is Russia, and other teams confirmed in the 10 July draw in Brasilia are the hosts and African contenders Libya and Egypt, with three more South American teams to qualify along with four from Asia, three CONCACAF members and one from Oceania, completing the expanded finals entry of 20.
©UEFA.com 1998-2017. All rights reserved.