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Slovenia bow out to ruthless Spain

Slovenia 0-4 Spain
A clinical display from holders Spain ended Slovenia's impressive challenge and set up a Thursday semi-final against old rivals Russia.

Slovenia bow out to ruthless Spain
Slovenia bow out to ruthless Spain ©UEFA.com

A clinical display from Spain ended Slovenia's impressive UEFA Futsal EURO 2014 challenge and set up a Thursday semi-final with Russia.

Fernandão and Rafa Usín struck in the first half to ensure Spain remain on course for a fifth straight title. However, they meet a stiff challenge in Russia, who pushed them all the way in the 2012 final – one of many crucial encounters between the nations in recent years.

Slovenia, almost scored in the second minute when Rok Mordej's deep corner was met by a stinging volley by Kristjan Čujec well saved by Rafa. For Spain, there was the boost of Lin and Miguelín's returns to fitness after captain Torras had been ruled out of the finals with a knee injury, and early on Raúl Campos forced a block from Alen Mordej, favoured above Damir Puškar in goal.

Miguelín himself was used early and shot wide not long before being denied by Alen Mordej, but Slovenia were more than holding their own with accurate passing and a willingness to shoot, especially on the part of Alen Fetič. However, Spain never cease to be dangerous and in the 12th minute Ortiz touched a kick-in to Sergio Lozano, who strode down the right touchline and centred for FC Barcelona colleague Fernandão to tap in.

José Ruiz hit the post later in the half after a corner from Lin, but it was 2-0 at the break when Campos won the ball and found Usín, whose low shot rolled in through a crowded box.

Spain controlled possession well early in the second half, and Ortiz's free-kick on the edge of the area came to Campos for a shot blocked well, and Fernandão also came close after teeing the ball up for himself.

Rafa excelled with a reaction save from Gašper Vrhovec, and clear chances for Slovenia were few, even after Fetič donned the flying goalkeeper's shirt. Aicardo removed any lingering doubt with a low finish from outside the box, and in the dying seconds he shot into an empty net from his own half. However, there was a blow for Spain when defender Ortiz was booked, ruling him out against Russia.