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Dobovičnik hails Slovenia success

Slovenia coach Andrej Dobovičnik was delighted as his team celebrated reaching the FIFA Futsal World Cup play-offs with a record win against Malta.

Slovenia captain Milivoje Simeunovic celebrates scoring against Malta
Slovenia captain Milivoje Simeunovic celebrates scoring against Malta ©Domenic Aquilina

Slovenia coach Andrej Dobovičnik was delighted as his team celebrated reaching the FIFA Futsal World Cup play-offs with a record win against Malta.

'Very pleased'
Victories against Greece and Albania had ensured that Slovenia would top qualifying Group 7 regardless of their final-day result against the mini-tournament hosts. As it is, the 13-0 victory, including hat-tricks from Slaviša Goranović and Gorazd Drobnič, was Slovenia biggest futsal win away from home and gives them hopes of the forthcoming play-offs, where they will be paired with either Spain, Italy, Ukraine, Portugal, Russia or the Czech Republic in Wednesday's draw. "To be honest I did expect a lot from my team before the tournament began," Dobovičnik told uefa.com. "Yes I am very pleased by the way things have gone and of course by our qualification."

Albania win thriller
There was consolation for Albania in the early game on Sunday as they edged a thriller against Greece, the lead changing hands several times before Ardit Behari made it 7-6 in the final seconds. It was not enough for them to progress as one of the best runners-up, but six points was a good return for a team that lost all their 2007 UEFA European Futsal Championship preliminary round fixtures.

'Happy man'
Albania coach Edi Martinas said: "I am a very happy man today. This win means a lot to me and to my team, especially when you consider we had key players who did not make it to Malta. So this was, you might say, a makeshift squad which managed to put up creditable performances. Finally a big thank you for the Maltese hospitality during the tournament."