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Spain find form to top Ukraine

Ukraine 1-4 Spain
A brilliant first-half display by Spain left them four up and the victory gives them top spot in Group B above their fellow quarter-finalists.

Rafael Usín (right) takes the acclaim for his first goal
Rafael Usín (right) takes the acclaim for his first goal ©Action Images

Spain hit top form at UEFA Futsal EURO 2012 with a comfortable victory that gives them first place in Group B above Ukraine, their fellow quarter-finalists.

Behind on goal difference at kick-off, Spain improved on their opening 4-2 win against Slovenia and were four to the good at the break, able to ease off in the second period. They remain in Zagreb on Monday to meet the runners-up in Group A, with the winners of that section awaiting Ukraine in Split that evening.

Ukraine coach Gennadiy Lysenchuk opted to give Dmytro Lytvynenko a go in goal and he was busy from the start, saving from Alemao and Rafael Usín. But Borja then took over from Usín up front and intercepted a Ukraine kick-in to comfortably beat Lytvynenko.

The Ukraine counterattacking game, so potent in the 6-3 win against Slovenia, was seldom in evidence as they rarely had the ball, or any space when they did. Then towards the end of the first half it was time for Spain to turn on the style.

First Miguelín turned in a Torras cross. Then Usín was twice rewarded for a superb display as he finished off a fine passing move following Kike's centre, and soon after produced a cheeky finish through the legs of Lytvynenko. Both teams switched their goalkeepers at the break, Cristian on for Spain and making his senior competitive debut for Ukraine, Kyrylo Tsypun, who made a pair of impressive early saves from Sergio Lozano.

At the midway point in the half Denys Ovsyannikov was deployed as a flying keeper for Ukraine and after a long spell of possession, Oleksandr Kondratyuk played the ball in and, under pressure from Maxym Pavlenko, Kike volleyed into his own net. The comeback was never on, though, and Lozano came close three times.