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Tired Russia accept 'fair' final defeat

Sergei Skorovich and Aleksandr Fukin cited the energy – both mental and physical – expended in beating Spain as one of the key reasons they finished runners-up to Italy in Antwerp.

Russia coach Sergei Skorovich comes to terms with defeat in the final
Russia coach Sergei Skorovich comes to terms with defeat in the final ©Sportsfile

Sergei Skorovich, Russia coach
First of all, we didn't win because we were very tired mentally after the semi-final against Spain. We didn't have any emotional energy left for the final, where your heart should throb and you should have an ice-cold mentality. We didn't manage to do this.

We made mistakes and let our opponents score goals. Italy probably played their best match ever, while we didn't put on our best performance. Many of our players couldn't show their true qualities. If you want to win a final you should show all of your abilities, all of your strengths, but today our opponents prevented us [from doing that].

It was tough. It was tough for the whole match. We felt from the very beginning that something was going wrong. We tried to change the situation in order to get the right result. We believed until the end that we could do something. There were some moments when we nearly did it.

Unfortunately, nothing changed. We were still believing when we were losing by two goals in the last minute. Anything is possible in futsal. Spain proved that in the last EURO final [against Russia] and showed how to score goals using a flying keeper. They saved themselves and avoided defeat. We had faith until the very end, we tried to make things happen, but it didn't work out.

Every defeat is sad, but afterwards you get enough time to think and analyse what went wrong. We played in the final last time and we played in the final here. We have proved that we are not just accidental finalists. We know that we need to improve. Big wins will come.

Vladislav Shayakhmetov, Russia forward
It is a fair defeat. Too many things didn't work out. We know how Italy execute set plays, but we conceded the first goal from a corner. This goal hurt us deeply. Our first half [display] was just disgusting and, overall, we didn't play well at all. But life goes on, futsal doesn't stop existing. It's better to learn from the mistakes of others, but we will learn from our own mistakes.

Aleksandr Fukin, Russia forward
I have lost three EURO finals [2005, 2012 and 2014] and each of these defeats has had a very bitter taste. Overall we had a good tournament, we beat Spain in the semi-finals. The previous match affected our performance today. We left too much energy there, left our hearts. We made too many mistakes in the first half and these mistakes led to the goals we conceded.

We improved our performance after half-time, but it was [only] enough to be on the same level as Italy. The lads did everything they could, but we didn't have energy to push more, to add something.

We accept the loss. We agree that Italy were the better side. It is absolutely fair – Italy are the champions by right. They lost their first match in the EURO finals [3-2 to Slovenia], but since then they have been great. I like their team very much. I want to ask our fans from every part of Russia forgiveness for the fact that we didn't make our mutual dream come true. I hope they will understand everything. We fought until the end.

Rauf Aliyev, Russian Futsal Association (AMFR) president
We hoped to win, but we understood that the semi-final against Spain made everything much harder for us. It was probably easier for Italy, as they didn't play against Spain. Russian Football Union (RFS) president Nikolai Tolstykh visited our upset players in the dressing room and told them that winning silver medals, after beating Spain, is a triumph. A small one, but still. Russia didn't look like Russia today, the team we are used to seeing.