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Spanish graft reaps final reward

Spain's 8-1 semi-final victory over Czech Republic may have looked a breeze but José Venancio López revealed the hard graft that has left them one match away from a third consecutive continental title.

Spain celebrate after the game
Spain celebrate after the game ©Sportsfile

Spain's 8-1 UEFA European Futsal Championship semi-final defeat of the Czech Republic may have looked a breeze but coach José Venancio López revealed the hard graft that has left them a Saturday decider against Portugal away from their third consecutive continental title.

Comfortable win
The holders were four up at the break, Ortiz scoring the second and third from well-rehearsed moved before goalkeeper Luis Amado punted in before the break with the Czechs committed to attack. It was an exhibition after the break, as Spain completed the biggest knockout win this tournament has ever seen.

Coach's praise
Venancio López told uefa.com: "We showed throughout that we were a much better team than the Czech Republic. We had a great first half. We did well in all sort of situations. We scored twice from set-pieces. We had control of the match, we pressed them well, they could not get out of their half. We also defended well in the five against four situation, when they played with the flying goalkeeper. It was decisive to reach half-time at 4-0, a scoreline which was almost impossible for them to overcome.

Hard work
"I'm very happy about the set-pieces. It shows that hard work pays off in the end. We killed the match with the second and third goal, which came up from set-pieces. The second goal was a set-piece we have been doing for ages, but not yet in this tournament. We were leaving it for the right moment. We were able to surprise them and we scored. We must congratulate ourselves for that. As for Luis Amado's goal, he has trained for that many times, so I'm not surprised he scored like that. We practice it a lot. All of this is the result of very hard work and the competitive mentality our team has."

Gracious in defeat
Czech coach Tomáš Neumann, who led his nation to their first semi-final since 2003, was gracious in defeat. "We all know Spain are a very good team," he said. "Their futsal is of a far higher level than ours. We needed a lot of things to come together for us to win, for example a lot of luck. Our finishing wasn't as good as we expected. These two things didn't work out for us, that's why we weren't able to win. It's a huge, huge success for us to get this far. I'm proud of the team for managing to reach this stage. It is kind of a surprise, and as we are here we will fight for third place."