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Slick Russia too good for Turkey

Turkey 0-5 Russia
Russia started their bid to reach a fourth final with a polished display which means they and Italy qualify from Group C at Turkey's expense.

Sergei Abramov (right) congratulates hat-trick man Konstantin Maevski
Sergei Abramov (right) congratulates hat-trick man Konstantin Maevski ©Sportsfile

Russia are through to the UEFA Futsal EURO 2012 quarter-finals after a comfortable victory that eliminated Turkey in Group C, a result which also confirms Italy's place in the last eight.

Two down inside eight minutes through two Konstantin Maevski goals, Turkey found the going tough against the 1999 champions. Aleksandr Fukin and Cirilo made it four earlier in the second half and Maevski completed a hat-trick for a side who can now look forward to facing the Azzurri on Sunday, when a draw will ensure they stay in Split for the quarter-finals 48 hours later as section winners.

Russia may have been one of the last teams to get their campaign under way but they wasted little time in stamping their authority on proceedings, Maevski scoring the quickest goal of the tournament so far with a low shot after 59 seconds. Sergei Skorovich's team were monopolising possession and, after Fukin curled an effort wide, it was 2-0 when Maevski's cross deflected off Aziz  past the helpless Mahmut Akbaş.

Sharp and inventive, Russia knocked the ball about at will, pinning Turkey inside their own half. There was brief respite when Sergei Zuev stopped Cem Keskin's strike with a foot, following it up with an even better save from Kenan Köseoğlu.

The traffic was only really going one way: towards the Turkey goal. Russia's confidence was summed up before the interval with a bicycle kick from Sergei Abramov which Mahmut plucked out of the air. The onslaught continued after the break, with Fukin, having outfoxed Sami Büyüktopaç by dropping the shoulder, firing under Mahmut. Eighteen seconds later Pula found MFK Dinamo Moskva colleague Cirlio to make it four.

Maevski − picked out by Dmitri Prudnikov − slotted in number five. Turkey's misery was compounded when Mahmut hobbled off injured but their run from the preliminary round to their first finals was a superb achievement.