Azerbaijan have earned a FIFA Futsal World Cup debut after they, Italy, Kazakhstan, Portugal, Russia, Spain and Ukraine came through their play-offs to reach the finals.
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Azerbaijan have earned a FIFA Futsal World Cup debut after they, Italy, Kazakhstan, Portugal, Russia, Spain and Ukraine came through their play-offs to reach the final tournament in Colombia. The draw for the expanded 24-team event is on 19 May.
Final tournament, 10 September-2 October 2016, Colombia:
AFC: Australia, Iran, Thailand, Uzbekistan, Vietnam
CAF: Egypt, Morocco, Mozambique
CONCACAF: Costa Rica, Cuba, Guatemala, Panama
CONMEBOL: Colombia (hosts), Brazil (holders), Argentina, Paraguay
OFC: Solomon Islands
UEFA: Azerbaijan, Italy, Kazakhstan, Portugal, Russia, Spain, Ukraine
- Spain lost their first leg 1-0 in Slovenia and trailed on away goals with six minutes left of the return in Melilla, before Raúl Campos, Miguelín and Aicardo gave them a 5-1 victory.
- Spain maintained their record of never failing to qualify for any major tournament, equalling Argentina and Brazil in getting to all eight World Cups. They have made the last five finals, winning in 2000 and 2004.
- Azerbaijan have qualified for the first time, a 4-4 draw with the Netherlands in Baku taking them through 9-5 on aggregate.
- Kazakhstan, fresh from finishing third en debut at UEFA Futsal EURO 2016, have qualified for the first time from Europe by beating Poland 7-0 in Almaty – but did feature at the 2000 World Cup while part of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC).
- Italy, who eliminated Hungary in the only tie to be completed on Wednesday, have been in the medals at the last three World Cups, succumbing to Spain in the 2004 final.
- The other four qualifiers are also familiar with World Cups: it is Portugal's fifth consecutive appearance, a fourth in a row for Ukraine and a third straight berth for Russia. All three lost in the 2012 quarter-finals in Thailand.
- Top scorer: Cardinal (Portugal) 8.
- The crowd of 6,602 for the first leg between Serbia and Portugal at Arena Belgrade was a record attendance for any European Futsal World Cup or UEFA Futsal EURO qualifier.
- Slovenia's 1-0 first-leg victory was Spain's first defeat in 46 UEFA Futsal EURO and World Cup qualifying or play-offs games among a host of other notable landmarks.
- All seven qualifiers played in the UEFA Futsal EURO 2016 quarter-finals in February; the hosts of that tournament, Serbia, were the unlucky eighth having missed out against a Portugal side they beat in the Belgrade group stage.