Ricardinho magic not enough to stop Spain

Portugal 2-6 Spain Spain produced a magnificent quarter-final win despite two Ricardinho goals, one another stunner.

Watch Spain show their class in a 6-2 quarter-final defeat of Portugal, for who Ricardinho signed off with another stunner
  • Spain lead Portugal by three at half-time and go on to reach semi-finals
  • Ricardinho departs with two more goals, including one stunner, to take finals tally to six
  • Spain coach hails "team that love futsal" and also Ricardinho
  • Watch highlights in the video player above
  • Spain play Italy or Kazakhstan in the semi-finals at 21.00CET on Thursday

Spain's record of always reaching the UEFA Futsal EURO semi-finals – and never losing a competitive game to Portugal – remains intact after an impeccable display in Belgrade.

Most of the 11,161 capacity crowd that saw Serbia win the earlier quarter-final stayed, many to cheer on Ricardinho, and Portugal started well. Yet Spain were soon in control after Miguelín's penalty was followed by goals from Mario Rivillos, set up by fit-again Ortiz, and, brilliantly with two chips, Alex. Ricardinho finished off a smart passing move early in the second half but Raúl Campos immediately responded with a goal from a feint and angled shot.

Then came more Ricardinho magic as he flicked the ball past a bemused Andresito and smashed in, drawing a standing ovation and chants of "Portugal" from the Serbian crowd. But despite their noisy support, Portugal could not reduce arrears further, and Alex made sure as Miguelín led a counter and in the last seconds Mario Rivillos shot into an empty net from his own goal line.

Miguelín after his penalty
Miguelín after his penalty©Sportsfile

The key
So many for Spain, who were magnificent in all areas, and Alex even produced a bit of Ricardinho-style magic for the third. A showdown between Spain and Italy in the semi-finals could be one to match their many great encounters of the past.

Spain finding attacking options
With most of their regular attacking players ruled out of this tournament through injury, some wondered if they would lose bite up front. Not a bit of it as today's scorers, among others, are proving.

Ricardinho's magic will be missed
On six goals, Ricardinho is two clear in the race for the adidas Golden Shoe, but with him it is quality more than quantity. His second today meant that in all three games here he has produced an out-of-this-world goal, passing 100 for Portugal in the process, but he is no longer in the tournament and his wait for a national-team title goes on.

Ricardinho's latest masterpiece
Ricardinho's latest masterpiece

Reaction:
José Venancio López, Spain coach
I am really happy about our performance. It was a great match and I am proud of the team. Congratulations to Portugal, especially Ricardinho, he is a player from another galaxy, I don't know where. It is a pity Portugal have to go home, Spain-Portugal would have been a very good semi-final but overall we were the better team.

The more difficult things are, the better the reaction of the team. This team has character and unity, we are a team that love futsal and want to make it bigger. We have an attacking style, so this is a great victory.

Jorge Braz, Portugal coach
Spain were better than us, we made too many mistakes, it is very difficult to beat Spain if you make as many mistakes as we did. We had chances, we scored goals but if you make too many mistakes against Spain, this is what happens. The result was totally deserved.

Thank you for the support of the Serbian fans. Also congratulations to the Serbian people, it is obvious the passion they have for sport. I hope the passion for sport generally will become specifically for futsal. I wish all the best for futsal in Serbia. There was a great atmosphere, a great arena and the fans helped to create that for the European Championship. Congratulations for everything they have done and I hope they continue having their passion for sport in general, and include futsal among the sports they love.

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