Inter FS lifted their fourth UEFA Futsal Cup in Almaty eight years on from their third title as they defeated Sporting CP 7-0 in the final.
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Inter FS won their fourth UEFA Futsal Cup in Almaty eight years on from their third title.
That took the Spanish side two clear of any other champion club, as 12 months on from their final loss as hosts to debutants Ugra Yugorsk, Inter travelled to Almaty and blew away Sporting CP by a record 7-0 margin in the final.
As well as Sporting, holders Ugra were back for the final four along with Kairat Almaty, the 2013 and 2015 winners who were selected to stage the event. The Kazakh outfit had also done the hosting honours in 2011, and coincidentally Sporting finished second on that occasion too, while Kairat here emulated their bronze medal from six seasons previously.
Sporting, the sole main round survivors, started the tournaments as outsiders against Ugra but they never looked it once play got under way. The Portuguese team tore into their opponents and their eventual 2-1 victory, achieved despite a nervous finish, was Ugra's first experience of European defeat in their 12th fixture.
That was swiftly followed by the showdown between Inter and Kairat, backed by a crowd of 10,238, the second highest in UEFA Futsal Cup history. A magical Ricardinho goal, one of two strikes for the celebrated Portugal winger in the game, helped Inter to a 3-2 success, Ortiz turning in a deflected late winner.
That put Inter into their record seventh final, one ahead of FC Dynamo, while despite the hosts' last-four disappointment, around 8,000 fans were back at the arena two days later to see Kairat tackle Ugra for bronze. The two sides played out a superb spectacle, drawing 5-5 before the local favourites prevailed 3-2 on penalties.
Those first three matches had gone to the wire. The final did not. Gadeia and Lolo fired Inter 2-0 in front by half-time, and Rafael and Mario Rivillos extended the lead following clever free-kick moves. With Sporting all-out in attack, Inter struck three times from their own half into an empty net, first from Rivillos then twice by Ricardinho.
Ricardinho, in fact, was now one of a handful of players to have lifted this trophy twice, having helped Benfica beat Inter in Lisbon in 2010 – six years on from Ricardinho's first final for the Eagles, which was also versus the Spanish club. Inter now stood two UEFA Futsal Cups clear of any other team, while Spain could boast eight victories in the competition's 16 editions.