Another capacity Arena Belgrade crowd will be hoping for more celebrations on Thursday as UEFA Futsal EURO 2016 hosts Serbia attempt to defeat Russia in the first semi-final.
This is already uncharted territory for Serbia, who, like Croatia four years ago, have reached a first semi-final on home ground. Russia have been in the last two finals and five overall, winning in 1999, and beat Serbia 2-1 in FIFA Futsal World Cup qualifying in December. They also overcame hosts Croatia 4-2 before a record crowd in the last four in 2012.
However, Serbia have proved hugely impressive so far, starting with a convincing win against Slovenia, a defeat of Ricardinho's Portugal and then ousting Ukraine in the quarter-finals with 0.3 seconds to go. Russia are yet to fully convince, surviving a group scare against Croatia, but their 6-2 quarter-final victory over Azerbaijan showed that many people's pre-tournament picks are moving through the gears.
What they say:
Miloš Simić, Serbia player
We are already a part of Serbian sporting history. Look at the situation now: we will play in a full arena in our home country for a medal at the EURO.
Who would have believed this before the start of the tournament? Probably no one – except us! Even the interest here in Belgrade was much more cloudy at the start, but now you see all the euphoria.
Regarding Russia, I can say only that every team has their shortcomings – nobody is perfect. I even think that we are physically on the same level, but Russia are much more experienced in playing decisive matches and they have always been at least in the semi-finals of big tournaments in recent years. We won't be disappointed if we lose, but we will leave everything on the pitch.
Vladislav Shayakhmetov, Russia player
I have big expectations, it is a semi-final. The strongest team will make it through so no mistakes are allowed. I have had a long career and have experience of playing in front of so many people, even more in Brazil.
I can say, as a player, I don't care how many people are there – the more the better. But for Serbia it will be like a sixth player and a big motivation for them.
[Compared to the Serbia side they played in December in Izmir] they will be a different team, in front of so many fans it is always different. And when Serbian clubs play at home, it is always a different matter. However, they are strong not only because of their fans but because of their ability.
Head-to-head: Played 11, Serbia wins 1, Russia wins 10, draws 0. Goals: Serbia 18-33 Russia
Players to watch
Serbia: Miodrag Aksentijević – Serbia's goalkeeper has had a great tournament so far and his charismatic presence has helped inspire the team.
Russia: Eder Lima – the 2014 top scorer got off the mark with a hat-trick against Azerbaijan. If he can stay in the goals, Russia should be fine.
Will miss final/third-place play-off if booked
Serbia: Miodrag Aksentijević, Mladen Kocić, Miloš Stojković
Russia: Nikolai Pereverzev, Dmitri Lyskov, Danil Kutuzov
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