Spain claim bronze against Portugal
Saturday, 8 February 2014
Portugal 4-8 Spain
Spain took some consolation from the end of their nine-year reign by beating their neighbours in an entertaining third-place play-off.
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Spain claimed UEFA Futsal EURO 2014 bronze after an entertaining play-off with neighbours Portugal.
A 4-3 extra-time defeat by Russia on Thursday had ended Spain's bid for a fifth straight title since 2005, but they took some consolation in the highest-scoring third-place match in the tournament's history, 11 different players on target in front of more than 10,000 fans.
João Benedito was in action early, denying Pola then brilliantly diving to stop Aicardo's strike. Spain's dominance continued and they soon scored three goals in the space of 59 seconds. First Fernandão broke from midfield and shot in, then José Ruiz won the ball and ran on to Miguelín's clever back-heel to strike. Next Miguelín set up Sergio Lozano to make it three, only for Ricardinho – facing Interviú Madrid club-mates Ortiz and Pola – to immediately pull one back with a shot off the legs of a Spain defender.
It was soon 3-2, Pedro Cary volleying in Leitão's corner, and Joel Queirós was only just denied by Juanjo, starting his first game of these finals despite having taken the armband from injured captain Torras. However, Miguelín doubled the lead before the interval after a fine one-two with Lozano, and Ortiz – returning from semi-final suspension – played a kick-in back for Rafa Usín to smash past Benedito. Raúl Campos rounded off the half with a superb individual goal, twisting his way in from the right.
Cristiano got his turn in the Portugal goal in the second half, and he bravely denied Campos with his face, drawing gasps from the crowd when the replay was shown. He then made a goal, Cristiano's clearance dropped by Juanjo and turned in by Pedro Costa, back from an injury which kept him out of the semi-final loss to Italy.
Gonçalo came on as flying keeper and was part of a superb passing move finished off by Joel for his 106th Portugal goal, one short of André Lima's record. However, Fernandão then slid the ball into an empty net for his fifth goal of the finals and Pola scored on the break in the dying seconds to put a seal on third place.