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Russia open in style against Netherlands

Russia 7-1 Netherlands
Cirilo and Eder Lima scored twice as Russia underlined their status as title challengers with a comfortable opening Group B win.

Russia open in style against Netherlands
Russia open in style against Netherlands ©UEFA.com

Having come within a minute of claiming their second European title two years ago, Russia look in mean mood in Antwerp after opening UEFA Futsal EURO 2014 Group B with a crushing win against the Netherlands.

Cirilo struck the first of his two goals early on and there was no way back for a Netherlands side ending a nine-year UEFA Futsal EURO finals absence, having also lost their 2005 opener in Ostrava to Russia. They will attempt to save their campaign against Portugal on Friday.

The Oranje began brightly, Najib El Allouchi's free-kick drawing a save from Gustavo in the first minute, and Mohamed Attaibi also tested the goalkeeper. However, the 1999 champions were soon in control, captain Nikolai Pereverzev striking just wide before Cirilo, in his fourth UEFA Futsal EURO, scooped in the opener on three minutes.

Robinho and Eder Lima forced stops from Petrus Grimmelius, one of four Dutch squad members that played under current senior coach Marcel Loosveld at the 2008 UEFA European Under-21 Futsal Tournament. However, it was 2-0 midway through the half when Ivan Molivanov flicked the ball back for fellow 2008 U21 winner Dmitri Lyskov to finish.

The Netherlands responded when Oualid Saadouni shot just wide, but then conceded the first foul of the game on the edge of their box and Cirilo struck the resulting free-kick low past Grimmelius. Another set piece made it four, Eder Lima smashing in Sergei Sergeev's corner.

Sergeev was on the scoresheet himself after being sent free 25 seconds after the interval. The Netherlands were attacking, Gustavo advancing to deny El Allouchi, but Robinho, on his 31st birthday, soon made it six after Grimmelius blocked an Eder Lima shot. Local club Futsal Topsport Antwerpen's own Mohamed Attaibi did pull one back, but Eder Lima then coolly turned and shot in to make it 7-1.