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No sweat for Spanish

Spain, Ukraine and Italy all reached the FIFA Futsal World Cup second group stage after Thursday wins.

Spain cruise through
The Czech Republic and Brazil were the first teams to progress yesterday, and the holders only needed one point against Egypt in Group A to join them as pool winners. And Spain took no chances, cruising to a 7-0 win in Tao Yuan County. Marcelo, Kike, Andreu, Alberto Cogorro and Fran Serrejón all struck before the break and Marcelo and Andreu scored early in the second half for Javier Lozano's side, who claimed 19 goals without reply in their three group wins.

Ukraine progress
That result meant that Ukraine would have advanced even with a draw against Chinese Taipei, but they instead defeated the hosts 7-2 in Taipei City. Ramis Mansurov, Serhiy Koridze and Oleg Shaytanov gave Ukraine a 3-0 advantage within 14 minutes before Chia-Ho Chen scored the hosts' first goal of the finals. Shaytanov and Mansurov made it 5-1 at the break, and after half-time Chien-Ying Chang pulled one back before Vitaliy Brunko and Koridze from the penalty spot struck in the 38th minute.

Italy top group
European champions Italy required just a point against Paraguay in Tao Yuan County to win Group C, and claimed a hard-fought 4-2 victory. Walter Villalba gave Paraguay a 13th-minute lead, but Sandro Zanetti and Vinicius Bacaro struck before the break to put Italy in front. Carlos Chilavert equalised eight minutes into the second period, but three minutes later Morgado restored the Italian advantage and Zanetti confirmed victory four minutes from time, before René Villalba was sent off for Paraguay.

European showdown
Italy will now play in Group E, where Spain number among their three rivals when the next round starts on Sunday, while also through are the United States, who drew 1-1 with Japan in Taipei City to finish a point ahead of Paraguay. The US will be one of Ukraine's opponents in Group F, with two teams emerging from each second-phase pool to play in the semi-finals on Friday week.

Friday fixtures
Tomorrow, Portugal will aim to progress from Group D when they play Iran. Portugal, after defeat by Argentina, are ahead of Cuba on goal difference in the race for second place. Portugal will advance provided their result against Iran is better than Cuba's against leaders Argentina. Meanwhile, the Czechs must beat Brazil to win Group B and avoid Spain and Italy in the next stage. Eliminated sides Thailand and Australia also play.