Czech Republic 1-8 Spain
Holders Spain will take on Portugal in the final after yet another virtuoso display helped them cruise past the Czech Republic.
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UEFA European Futsal Championship holders Spain will take on Portugal in Saturday's final after yet another virtuoso show helped them cruise past the Czech Republic.
It was 4-0 at the break as Spain struck three times with clever moves before goalkeeper Luis Amado punted into an empty net. Four more goals followed in the second half for José Venancio López's charges, who will hope to repeat their 6-1 group-stage defeat of Portugal here on Saturday to claim a third straight European title. The Czech Republic, meanwhile, will aim to reverse the same scoreline when they are rematched with Azerbaijan for third place.
Spain had won all ten previous meetings with the Czech Republic and began in confident mood against a side without suspended Marek Kopecký. In the second minute Kike shot wide and had a second effort saved by the Czechs' quarter-final shoot-out hero Libor Gerčák, but the defender soon made a goal, chipping over a cross from the right for captain Javi Rodríguez to head into an unguarded net. The Czech Republic were not being overrun, Amado emerging from goal several times for crucial touches, but Ortiz and Jordi Torras both kept Gerčák busy. It was Ortiz who then doubled the lead, starting a neat move before shooting in from a tight angle after being sent clear by Fernandao's reverse pass.
Now it was time for the familiar sight of David Frič donning the flying goalkeeper's jersey, though Gerčák regularly returned and denied Javi Rodríguez, who himself got back for at least one saving tackle. Spain were moving forward well on the counter and twice Gerčák did well to deny Daniel. However, the goalkeeper's stretched leg could not keep out a great long-range Ortiz drive. Then, with Frič back in the keeper's shirt, Amado saved from Lukáš Rešetár before drop-kicking the length of the pitch for his maiden goal in eleven years of UEFA competition.
Although they were always going to be hard-pressed to come back from 4-0 down, as they did against Hungary, the Czechs started the second half brightly, with Martín Dlouhý teeing up Rešetár to shoot narrowly wide and Amado saving from Michal Belej. However, Spain made it five when Borja picked up a Kike pass and showed some impressive trickery to round Gerčák and tap in. Fernandao got the sixth after good work from Lin and veteran Daniel claimed two two late strikes, though a consolation from Dlouhý ensured the Czech Republic avoided being on the end of the record scoreline in a Futsal EURO final tournament, registered when Spain defeated Belarus 9-1 here last Wednesday.