Futsal World Cup play-offs: Czech Republic pip Croatia, Serbia lead Finland

The Czech Republic beat Croatia on penalties to qualify through the play-offs while Serbia lead Finland 1-0 after their first leg.

The Czech Republic celebrate qualifying
The Czech Republic celebrate qualifying Michal Pavlík/FAČR
  • The FIFA Futsal World Cup play-offs decide Europe's last two finals spots in Lithuania.
  • The four contenders were elite round runners-up behind the winners Kazakhstan, Portugal, Russia and Spain, who have already joined the hosts in the finals from 12 September to 3 October 2021 (postponed from 2020).

Second legs

Tuesday 10 November:

Czech Republic 2-2 Croatia (aet, agg: 4-4, Czech Republic win 6-5 on penalties)

  • The home side in Brno, who saw a two-goal first-leg lead slip, twice equalised to force extra time.
  • Both teams missed potential winning penalties before Jiří Vokoun converted the eighth Czech kick to clinch victory.
  • The Czech Republic previously made the World Cup in 2004, 2008 and 2016, and avenged their 7-6 loss to Croatia in a decisive 2000 qualifier

Wednesday 9 December:

Finland vs Serbia (first leg: 0-1)

  • The second leg was postponed from 10 November.
  • Serbia previously reached the World Cup in 2012.
  • Finland have never made a major tournament, though coach Mićo Martić played at the World Cup and EURO with Croatia). This is also the first time Finland have been in a play-off; they held Italy and Portugal in the elite round, knocking out the Azzurri.
  • Serbia have won all four of their competitive meetings with Finland.

First legs

Friday 6 November:

Serbia beat Finland 1-0 in their first leg
Serbia beat Finland 1-0 in their first legGetty Images

Serbia 1-0 Finland

  • Marko Pršić struck to decide the first leg.

Saturday 7 November:

Croatia 2-2 Czech Republic

  • Croatia came back from 2-0 down to draw in Zadar, with the visitors having Lukáš Rešetár sent off.

All qualifiers so far

AFC: 5 tbc
CAF: Angola (debut), Egypt, Morocco
CONMEBOL: Argentina (holders), Brazil, Paraguay, Venezuela (debut)
OFC: Solomon Islands
UEFA: Czech Republic Kazakhstan, Lithuania (hosts, debut), Portugal, Russia, Spain, 1 tbc