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Slovenia make history with Spain futsal success

Slovenia's 1-0 first-leg defeat of Spain ended a string of streaks held by the European champions, including 27 straight wins and unbeaten runs of more than a decade.

Celebrations for Slovenia in Maribor
Celebrations for Slovenia in Maribor ©Drago Perko/NZS

Slovenia pulled off one of the biggest upsets in the sport's history with their 1-0 defeat of Spain in the first leg of their 2016 FIFA Futsal World Cup play-off.

A packed crowd of close to 2,000 in Maribor saw Alen Fetič send a superb free-kick into the roof of the Spain net in the 19th minute and then home goalkeeper Damir Puškar made a string of saves to keep Spain at bay. Not only were Spain fresh from a dominant UEFA Futsal EURO 2016 triumph in Belgrade, Slovenia had disappointed with losses to Serbia and Portugal in the same competition, but now they can dream of beating Spain to the finals in Colombia this September when the teams meet again in Melilia on 12 April.

UEFA.com looks at the various Spain streaks that were ended by Slovenia's incredible win, some of them unbeaten runs going back more than a decade.

  • Spain had won 27 straight games from their 4-3 extra-time semi-final loss to Russia at UEFA Futsal EURO 2014 in Antwerp up to their 7-3 defeat of the same team in the 2016 decider last month in Belgrade.
  • It was Spain's first defeat in 46 UEFA Futsal EURO and World Cup qualifying or play-offs games. The only other side to avoid defeat by Spain in those matches were ... Slovenia, with a 3-3 draw in Madrid in UEFA Futsal EURO 2005 qualifying.
  • Spain's last loss over 40 minutes was 2-1 against Brazil in a December 2005 friendly in Brasilia.
  • Spain's last reverse over 40 minutes to a European team was 3-2 against Portugal in a September 2005 friendly in Salamanca
  • Spain's last competitive defeat over 40 minutes was 3-1 against Italy in the UEFA Futsal EURO 2005 group stage in Ostrava that February.
  • Spain's last competitive loss to a team in their own country other than on penalties was 2-1 to Italy in the UEFA Futsal EURO 2003 semi-finals in Caserta.
Watch: How Spain won another European title
  • Spain coach José Venancio López was beaten over 40 minutes for the first time in his 148 matches in charge: he previously had won 133, drawn 12 and lost twice only after extra time, against Russia two years ago and Brazil in the 2012 World Cup final. His home record is a perfect 58 wins with 393 goals scored and 46 conceded.
  • Spain trailed for just 4 minutes 17 seconds in their entire eight-match UEFA Futsal EURO 2016 campaign: Slovenia were in front for 22 minutes 47 seconds.
  • It was Slovenia's first win in 15 fixtures against Spain, a run which included 12 defeats.

Reaction: Alen Fetič, Slovenia goalscorer
<span author="Alen Fetić: " kapetan="" osredkar="" je="" rekel,="" da="" naj="" damo="" vse="" od="" sebe,="" hkrati="" pa="" moramo="" upati="" na="" slab="" španski="" dan,="" puškar="" bil="" res="" fenomenalen,="" vsa="" ekipa="" zaslužna="" za="" to="" zmago.="" španija="" osem="" let="" ni="" izgubila="" tekme,="" neverjetno"="">Captain [Igor] Osredkar said that we had to give our best and we must hope for a bad showing from Spain. Puškar was really phenomenal, the whole team deserves credit for this victory ... it's really amazing. On 12 April we should try to get another good result. I want to thank the wonderful fans who gave us strength.

  • In the other first legs, Serbia attracted a crowd of 6,602 to Arena Belgrade for their 2-1 loss to Portugal, the biggest attendance for any European FIFA Futsal World Cup or UEFA Futsal EURO play-off or qualifier. Russia, Italy, Ukraine and Azerbaijan also won away from home while Poland held UEFA Futsal EURO bronze-medallists Kazakhstan 1-1 with a last-minute goal.