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Russia in final as Spain reign ends

Russia 4-3 Spain (aet)
Russia will face Italy in Saturday's final after Spain's bid for a fifth straight title ended with Robinho's goal late in extra time.

Russia in final as Spain reign ends
Russia in final as Spain reign ends ©UEFA.com

Spain's nine-year reign as European futsal champions is over after Robinho's goal 66 seconds from the end of extra time earned Russia a Saturday final with Italy.

At half-time, Spain were in control and led 1-0 through a Pola goal, but Russia soon levelled and then in a 40-second spell were ahead, pegged back and in the lead again. Just as in the 2012 final between these teams, Spain equalised late, but this time it was Russia that struck in the additional ten minutes.

Already without suspended Pula, Russia were missing the ill Vladislav Shayakhmetov and an energised Spain dominated the early possession, having the first strong chance when Raúl Campos touched on but the lively Lin missed the far post, and he later forced a scrambling save from Gustavo. Spain's Sergio Lozano and Aicardo were playing more defensive roles than usual due to Ortiz's suspension, relieving the burden on José Ruiz, but they were mostly attacking and Fernandão freed up Miguelín to shoot just wide.

Pola broke well but Gustavo narrowed the angle to block, though at the other goal Rafa denied Daniil Kutuzov. Spain were still pressing intensely and Miguelín broke before missing the target, while Sergei Sergeev blocked a shot from Lin after neat work by Fernandão.

Lin was fortunate when he deflected a Kutuzov effort just wide, but Spain had their deserved lead when Aicardo's diagonal ball was rolled backwards by Raúl Campos for Pola to smash in. Eder Lima, the seven-goal leading finals scorer, nearly responded immediately but Rafa saved.

The second half started with Rafa making a superb reaction stop from Aleksandr Fukin, but there was nothing he could do when Nikolai Pereverzev played a corner back deep along the right touchline and Sergeev's diagonal thunderbolt rocketed in. Spain were not knocked off balance but then fell behind as, from close range, Dmitri Lyskov turned in a Robinho corner.

Almost immediately Spain equalised, Rafa Usín advancing from midfield and shooting past Gustavo. Then Russia were ahead for the second time in 40 seconds, Fukin robbing Campos and beating Rafa.

Gustvao tipped a Ruiz shot above the bar while Eder Lima struck high inside the box and Pereverzev was also close. However, Spain are not unbeaten over 40 minutes nine years for a reason, and with two minutes left Miguelín, on as flying keeper, drove in an equaliser.

Rafa's diving save kept out Kutuzov as extra time began, similarly Gustavo denied Aicardo. Miguelínshot wide, but just when it seemed a shoot-out was needed, Eder Lima sent Robinho free and he made no mistake.