Croatia's Capar strikes to deny Spain
Wednesday, 29 January 2014
Spain 3-3 Croatia
Flying goalkeeper Matija Capar equalised just over two minutes from time to deny the holders, who had come from behind to lead.
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Flying goalkeeper Matija Capar equalised just over two minutes from time to earn Croatia a superb draw against UEFA Futsal EURO holders Spain.
Semi-finalists at home in 2012, Croatia deservedly led 2-1 at half-time but a two-goal burst in less than a minute from Lin seemed to have won it for the five-time champions, only for Capar to dramatically level. Croatia will now be through from Group D on Friday if they beat the Czech Republic, who Spain – missing injured Miguelín – play on Sunday.
Torras sent the first effort just wide, while at the other end Dario Marinović went close three times for Croatia. Also impressing was Franko Jelovčić, whose father Robertino spent much of his futsal career in Belgium, as he made an interception but was only just denied by Rafa.
At the midway point in the half Jelovčić again broke and although Rafa parried two shots before a third was blocked on the line, Saša Babić turned in the last of the rebounds. Ivo Jukić stood tall as Fernandão got clear, Croatia now having to show their defensive prowess in the absence of suspended Jakov Grcić.
The equaliser narrowly failed to come as an Ortiz corner was met by a low first-time finish by Aicardo. Not long after, though, Marinović set in motion another break and played across for Jelovčić to lash inside the far post, and it was nearly 3-1 just before the interval as Rafa tipped wide from Tihomir Novak.
Spain were on an attacking bent to start the second half and Torras twice hit the post before Lin levelled, as he pounced on a defensive pass. Just 52 seconds later, Lin struck again from a tight angle, and Spain were back in control, Aicardo's flick tipped wide by Jukić.
Croatia brought on Matija Capar as a flying goalkeeper, at last giving them a spell of possession. And with just over two minutes left, a Jelovčić shot was blocked and Capar pounced to volley in and spark wild celebrations. Sergio Lozano hit the post with ten seconds left, but Spain were to be denied.