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Spain hold nerve in shoot-out

Brazil 2-2 Spain (aet, Spain win 5-4 on penalties) Luis Amado's heroics send the holders into the final.

By Greg Demetriou

Brazil 2-2 Spain (aet, Spain win 5-4 on penalties)
Spain have made it through to the FIFA Futsal World Championship final with a thrilling penalty shoot-out victory against Brazil in Chinese Taipei.

Opponents not known
The reigning world champions - who beat Brazil 4-3 to win the event for the first time in Guatemala four years ago - went through after Neto hit the bar with Brazil's sixth spot-kick. It means they will play Italy in Sunday's showpiece final in Taipei City, while Brazil have to be content with a third-place match against Argentina.

Andreu opener
The importance of the occasion seemed to affect both teams in the first half with neither side showing the form that had got them past the first two group stages. However, the match sparked into life to Spain's advantage in the 23rd minute when Andreu dribbled along the left wing before unleashing an unstoppable drive beyond the Brazilian goalkeeper Franklin. The European side could not hang on to their advantage though and a mistake by Fran Serrjón allowed Brazil to counter and score through Pablo.

Frenetic finish
The Brazilians then looked on course for the final when Simi gave them the lead in the 35th minute only for an almost immediate reply from the prolific Marcelo for Javier Lozano's men. It was Marcelo's eighth goal of the tournament, which left him two behind Brazilian forward Falcão. Torras could then have won it for Spain only to see his rasping drive come back off the post with Franklin beaten.

Penalties required
After extra time failed to produce any goals, although there were plenty of chances, the match went to penalties. Kike missed the first penalty for Spain but a Luis Amado save from Indio's effort brought the European side level and, when Andreu scored after Neto's miss, Spain were through.