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Italy cruise ends Czech Republic hopes

Czech Republic 0-7 Italy
The holders strolled to victory and a quarter-final place as Group D winners, with Azerbaijan also through.

Fortino scored twice
Fortino scored twice ©Sportsfile
  • Italy through as Group D winners, with Azerbaijan beating the Czech Republic to second
  • Fortino and Gabriel Lima hit first-half goals before second-period blitz
  • Watch highlights in player above
  • Tuesday's quarter-finals: Russia v Azerbaijan (18.30), Kazakhstan v Italy (21.00)

Holders Italy cruised into the UEFA Futsal EURO 2016 quarter-finals, taking Azerbaijan with them, after a comfortable win against the Czech Republic.

Italy only needed to avoid a five-goal defeat to go through but a point was required to win the group and avoid Russia in the quarter-finals. Fortino's goal after 26 seconds put them in control and, midway through the half, he returned the favour to the man who had set up the opener, captain Gabriel Lima. Any lingering Czech hopes were ended by three goals in the first 86 seconds after the break, and another shortly afterwards. The seventh, an Alessandro Patias back-heel from Lima's long pass, was the pick.

The key
The Czech Republic did have their moments, but when Italy pushed forward they were clinical. They have kept the only two clean sheets of the group stage and are top scorers with ten goals.

Gabriel Lima led from the front
Gabriel Lima led from the front©Sportsfile

Lima still the leader
Italy captain Gabriel Lima was the star of the Azzurri's semi and final wins in Antwerp two years ago and, after a quiet opening game against Azerbaijan, he was tremendous today, especially in the first half when there was plenty of Czech pressure. The man to dictate Italy's play.

Kazakhstan greater challenge
Kazakhstan may be debutants playing holders on Tuesday, but their defensive play especially suggests that they will give Italy a far tougher challenge than they faced in their group.

Roberto Menichelli, Italy coach

This was an excellent performance by Italy. We did well to open the scoring so quickly, and then we went on playing positively. We put the match to bed and we want to go on this way. However, all Italy have done so far is play two good matches. It makes me happy to have scored so many goals and not to have conceded but this doesn't mean anything, there are still very strong teams in the competition and perhaps bigger favourites than Italy

Patias's back-heel goal

Tomáš Neumann, Czech Republic coach
It was not easy to play against Italy as they are champions. We thought we had a chance but our problem is physical preparation. Our players had no physical preparation. You can't play in a big tournament like a EURO with no physical preparation. It was clear in this match. That is where Czech futsal is now. We were not able to press, and it you do not put on pressure in futsal, you cannot play.

Now we have a big problem as last year there were three professional teams in the Czech Republic and my players were very well prepared. Now there is only one, EP Chrudim, and they have problems too so their players weren't prepared. I hope after his season we can start new professional teams and only then can we start a new era of Czech futsal.