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UEFA Under-19 Futsal EURO 2022 semi-final round-up: Spain and Portugal set up final

Spain and Portugal will face off on Saturday for the title after winning their semi-finals.

Spain celebrate going 4-2 up in extra time
Spain celebrate going 4-2 up in extra time UEFA via Sportsfile

Spain and Portugal are into Saturday's UEFA European Under-19 Futsal Championship final after last-four successes.

Portugal defeated Ukraine 4-1 to ensure no repeat of their 2019 semi-final exit in Riga. Then Spain were taken to extra time by Poland before the hosts delighted the home crowd with a 5-2 victory.

Knockout games

Portugal 4-1 Ukraine
Spain 5-2 Poland (aet)

Spain vs Portugal (19:00 CET)

Watch highlights

Portugal fell in the 2019 semi-finals on penalties to Croatia but ensured they went one better at least by building on their perfect group campaign to defeat Ukraine 4-1.

A Raúl Moreira free-kick was played to Rúben Teixeira, running beyond the ball. His shot was saved by Mykola Huivan but Diogo Santos pounced on the rebound. Portugal were in control and Ukraine gambled with a flying goalkeeper late in the first half, only for Portugal No1 Tiago Velho to drop kick into an empty net.

Diogo Santos nearly made it three seconds after the break, hitting the crossbar from close range, but that third goal soon arrived as Diogo Santos squared for Simão to tap into an empty net. Ukraine kept pushing but when Huivan came out of goal to close down the advancing Rafael Freire, the Portugal player calmly chipped the keeper, allowing Kutchy to control in front of goal and tap in.

Ukraine got one back from a slick passing move, Oleksandr Smetanenko working it to Dmytro Skybchyk for the finish. They kept pressing but unlike against Croatia on Matchday 1, when they came back from 4-1 down to win 6-4, there was no stopping Portugal.

Semi-final highlights: Portugal 4-1 Ukraine

Key stat: Portugal's record goal tally for the campaign including qualifying is up to 43, from seven perfect wins.

Diogo Santos, Portugal player: "We knew that Ukraine were a strong team, just like the others here. But we are united, we are a big family, and we got through."

Simão, Portugal player: "It was a very tough game. Ukraine are a great team but we prepared very well for this game and it was a fair result."

 Tiago Velho celebrates scoring
Tiago Velho celebrates scoringUEFA via Sportsfile

Vitalii Odehov, Ukraine coach: "It was an interesting match to watch, with many goals. I would like to congratulate Portugal as they definitely deserve to be in the final, they were better today and stronger than us. We didn't have the power or energy to play better today."

Oleksandr Smetanenko, Ukraine player: "We only had one desire in this match, to win, but unfortunately luck was not on our side. Some teams were more physically prepared than we were, that's why it was quite difficult for us. But on the pitch we gave our best."

Watch highlights

Spain were on top from the off but the closest they came in the first half was Nicolás Marrón poking the ball on to the post, Dawid Lach also making a string of saves in the Poland goal. But not long before half-time, Pablo Ordoñez brought down Marcin Jasrzembski in the box and Kacper Sendlewski dispatched the penalty.

The game changed in the space of 15 seconds not long after the break. First an Adrián Tapias corner was met first-time by a finish from Álex García. Then the scorer turned provider as he won the ball not long after the Poland restart, played a one-two with Espin, and passed sideways for Adrián Rivera to give Spain the lead.

Pablo Ordoñez then hit the inside of the post but out of the blue Poland levelled, as Filip Turkowyd deflected home Adrian Formela's kick-in. Poland held out to extra time, where Adrián Rivera struck the inside of the woodwork before Nicolás pounced: his initial shot was blocked but he picked up the rebound, rounded Lach and finished. Jorge Carraso turned in an Albert Ortas centre before Nicolás struck again after winning the ball in the middle, becoming finals top scorer on five goals.

Semi-final highlights: Spain 5-2 Poland (aet)

Key stat: Spain now have 27 goals in these finals, three more than the whole of their victorious 2019 campaign in Riga (of which Nicolás was also part).

Albert Canillas, Spain coach: "The fact that we came back from a goal down will do us good for the Portugal game, that game was a real scrap at times and I am realty happy with how the team kept their heads, showed the right spirit, and saw the game out deservedly."

Nicolás Marrón, Spain player: "I am really proud of the step forward we’ve taken as a team. That was an incredibly tough match. Poland made it very frustrating for us today because we tried to create opportunities and they prevented us at every turn."

Nicolás Marrón scored twice in extra time and now has five in the finals, a joint record
Nicolás Marrón scored twice in extra time and now has five in the finals, a joint recordUEFA via Sportsfile

Łukasz Żebrowski, Poland coach: "It is important for me that we gave Spain difficulty, but we didn’t take our own chances. We ran out of steam in extra time and made mistakes. But I am proud of my lads and I think this a very good first step for them in futsal. We had a very good game, it is very important that we gave everything against Spain."

Kacper Sendlewski, Poland player: "It is very difficult to say something after this match. It was a bery good match, I think the best match in this tournament ,and I don’t think every team can fight against Spain like us. We made a couple of mistakes to go from 1-0 to 2-1, then we equalised, but after that our energy was so low, we tried to fight but in extra time Spain were just better."