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Spain pushed all the way

Group 4: World champions Spain needed goal difference to ensure qualification for the finals.

Reigning world champions Spain needed goal difference to edge out Slovenia and keep alive their hopes of another UEFA European Futsal Championship victory.

Spectacular start
Staging Group 4 in Madrid, Spain had begun as favourites having won the competition in 2001 and beaten Slovenia 4-1 in both legs of December's FIFA Futsal World Championship play-off. And they made a spectacular start by seeing off Finland 13-0, a hat-trick in the first ten minutes from Alberto Cogorro and four second-half Jordi Torrás goals the highlight in Spain's biggest win since March 2002.

Comfortable win
Slovenia also made their mark on the first day as they followed Spain's win with a 7-3 victory against Lithaunia. Benjamin Melink scored twice for Slovenia with Senudin Dzafic, Dejan Simic, Nenad Kurtic, Milivoje Simeunovic and Primoz Zorc also on target for the winners.

Second victories
Both Spain and Slovenia secured second victories in the next set of games. Spain beat Lithuania 4-0. Francisco Javier Sorrejón Sánchez, Jordi Sánchez, Javier Orol and Jordi Torrás were their scorers. Slovenia, meanwhile, saw off Finland 5-1, but goal difference meant they would have to beat Spain in the final game, whereas the hosts only needed a draw.

Spain ahead
After Lithuania had wrapped up third place with a 7-1 victory against Finland, the top two met in what proved a nail-biting encounter. Marcelo Dos Reis put Spain in front on six minutes, tapping home after seeing his first effort bobble agonisingly between both posts. However, Valdi Lakoseljac equalised in the 12th minute, but immediately Sorrejón restored Spain's lead and an Andreu Linares penalty on half-time put the home side 3-1 up.

Comeback in vain
But Slovenia, qualifiers in 2001, were not beaten and mounted a second period rearguard. Javier Orol twice hit the woodwork as Spain sought to extend their advantage, but on 27 minutes Davorin Šnofl pulled one back and nine minutes later the same player levelled to scoers to set up a thrilling finish. With 90 second left Slovenia almost pipped Spain to the finals in the Czech Republic as only a last-gasp save from Luis Amado kept the scores level.

Relief for Amado
With qualification secure, Amado told uefa.com: "We suffered both at the beginning and at the end, perhaps we were a little relaxed at the start after taking the lead. But these games tend to be complicated and you know that you are going to have to suffer. After keeping clean sheets for the first two matches, it was annoying to let in three in the last game but Spain have qualified and that is the most important thing."