Holders Portugal will face debutants Finland and Kazakhstan take on Ukraine in Monday's quarter-finals after a thrilling end to Groups A and B.
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UEFA Futsal EURO 2022 Groups A and B ended in thrilling fashion on Friday with holders Portugal and debutants Finland setting up one Monday quarter-final and Kazakhstan and Ukraine earning spots in the other.
Portugal won 1-0 against Ukraine to end six points clear in Group A. That was because Serbia came back from two down to beat hosts Netherlands, who both ended behind Ukraine in three-way head-to-head goal difference. Kazakhstan topped Group B by defeating Italy, allowing debutants Finland to claim second spot with victory against Slovenia. The other quarter-finals for Tuesday will be set when Groups C and D end on Saturday, with Russia and Georgia already through and Croatia, Slovakia, Poland, Spain and Azerbaijan competing for the remaining two slots.
Holders Portugal completed a perfect record in Group A but Ukraine, who had only ten players available for the second game running, made it through despite the loss. Oleksandr Kosenko's team were excellent and went close on a number of occasions, not least when Ihor Cherniavskyi hit the post. At the other end, Kyrylo Tsypun made a string of fine saves, but was eventually beaten four minutes from time when Zicky Té slotted in.
André Sousa made two fine late saves at the other end but it did not matter as both sides went through to the last eight, Ukraine progressing via their three-way head-to-head record against Netherlands and Serbia thanks to the Dutch falling to defeat.
Oleksandr Kosenko, Ukraine coach: "We wanted to win ourselves, we didn't hope for luck on our side in the other match in our group. Unfortunately we didn't succeed, but of course I am thankful to Serbia as they helped us to qualify for the next stage. I think the game today was spectacular but it's a pity we could not score. I am really proud of my boys who did really well despite us missing some players. We only had eight players available and then Mykhailo Zvarych picked up an injury. Two more lads received knocks too, so the effort from the team was absolutely incredible."
Jorge Braz, Portugal coach: "This was an excellent match to prepare ourselves for what's coming. All the matches will be like this. We know Ukraine very well and the quality they have. They are physically very strong and have the ability to push the game towards what they need from it. We had to give it all out there and I'm really happy with the way my players did just that."
Key stat: Ukraine kept up their record of reaching the quarter-finals in every tournament since the expansion from eight teams in 2010.
The hosts knew as long as Ukraine did not win, a point would take them through, and they led early when Jamal El Ghannouti's intelligent clipped through ball found Jodany Martinus, who poked the ball home through the legs of the onrushing Nemanja Momčilović. Serbia, however, were hungry to at least end the tourament with a point and the Netherlands had a tough job keeping them out before the interval.
Not long into the second half, though, it was 2-0 as Yoshua St Juste cut inside and his shot deflected in off Stefan Rakić. Having missed the first two games, Slobodan Rajčević was back to play in his sixth finals and pulled one back. Denis Ramić levelled then, within 30 seconds, Serbia went 3-2 up when Marko Pršić's deflected shot was turned in by Andreja Stojcevski. With around five minutes left Rajčević brought down Said Bouzambou in the box but, to the horror of the boisterous crowd, he put the penalty wide as the hosts' hopes disappeared.
Immanuel Kuyk, Netherlands goalkeeper: "At the moment we are very disappointed. In a few days when we look back we can be very proud of what we achieved, what we showed, especially in the Netherlands what futsal can be with this atmosphere. For now you have the feeling we could have done more, we missed a penalty, scored just after the final buzzer – too bad. When I was walking to my family and friends, and saw them there, I wanted to smile, it was a very proud feeling, it's great that it happened. I wanted to be in the quarter-finals bue we didn't make it."
Strahinja Petrov, Serbia player: "Today we showed that we deserved to reach the quarter-finals. We had a bad day against Ukraine, but I am happy because we won today. The Netherlands team, we played them two years ago, they are not the same team now, they are much better and all Dutch fans can be proud. Before the game we said we must fight until the end. We had a problem with [absent players] but in the end we can be happy."
Key stat: This is the fourth time the hosts have gone out in the group stage after Belgium (2014), Hungary (2010) and the Czech Republic (2005).
Kazakhstan clinched first place in Group B as Italy crashed out at the group stage for a second successive Futsal EURO. Birzhan Orazov prodded home the sixth-minute opener at the far post, after Douglas Junior's free-kick from the left had split the Italy defence. Kazakhstan doubled their lead in similar fashion, when Edson raced forward and put in a low centre from the left which Azat Valiullin forced in from close range.
Italy thought they had fought their way back into the contest after Douglas Nicolodi pounced on a loose ball and blasted a low effort through the legs of Higuita. But Orazov had other ideas as he started and finished a neat breakaway move for his second of the game with ten minutes left to move to the joint lead as top scorer with five for the finals, whilst Douglas Junior's long-range effort compounded Italian misery late on.
Higuita, Kazakhstan captain: "I think it was a beautiful and pure futsal match for everyone to watch against an Italian team who were eager to make up for their recent failures. We are growing as a team with each match and that showed once again today. It was like a final for both teams and we fully deserved to win. We are tired as this was a very demanding match but now we can rest. It was important to finish first in our group to avoid Portugal in the next round. It's a gigantic loss not being able to count on Taynan and Edson for the quarter-finals [due to suspension] and we'll have to adapt but I'm sure we will still be at our best."
Alex Merlim, Italy captain: "I think the best way to explain this defeat is to point at the start of the second half where we had so many chances to make it 2-2 but couldn't take them and then we conceded a third goal. We need to be more ruthless in front of goal and at this level that makes all the difference."
Key stat: Kazakhstan keep up their record of getting through the group at every final tournament they have reached since joining UEFA.
Debutants Finland kept their dream campaign going as Slovenia were denied a third quarter-final in four tournaments. A draw would have been enough for Slovenia, Alen Fetić going closest late in the first half. Finand knew they needed a breakthrough and pushed hard when the second half began, Miika Hosio having a shot cleared off the line.
Their breakthrough came in the 33rd minute, Iuro Vanha letting fly with a shot and Juhana Jyrkiäinen jumping to divert the ball in. Then with Slovenia going for broke, Juha-Matti Savolainen, given the nod in Finland's goal ahead of Antti Koivumäki, saved a shot and punted into an unguarded net. Fetić, as flying keeper, pulled one back but Finland held on to spark joyous celebrations with their fans.
Tomislav Horvat, Slovenia coach: "It's very tough right now. I congratulate Finland on their progress and also my lads for the whole tournament. We will go through it together. New players will come through now. I'm not scared about that and we will be here next time for sure."
Mićo Martić, Finland coach: "This is something important for us. Maybe we didn't play a great game, but we played an important game. We applied what we wanted to do, like defending hard then hoping for a strange goal! It happened. We were pretty good against the power play, it was a perfect game for us. It was crazy, the fans really supported us, it was some kind of special feeling. It was a journey that Finland began [in 2013], it was well planned, we count for something in Europe now!"
Key stat: Martić took charge of his 100th game as Finland coach.