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Sporting set highest goals, Bratislava pleased

Orlando Duarte said Sporting Clube de Portugal intend to win the UEFA Futsal Cup after topping main round Group 1 with a 2-1 defeat of Slov-Matic Bratislava who are also through.

Leitão (left) and Jorge Fernandes in action for Sporting
Leitão (left) and Jorge Fernandes in action for Sporting ©Slov-Matic Bratislava

Coach Orlando Duarte was delighted with how Sporting Clube de Portugal ended UEFA Futsal Cup main round on a high with a 2-1 win against Group 1 hosts Slov-Matic Bratislava.

Both teams had already secured places in the 12 October elite round draw by defeating FC Kobarid and KMF Zelezarec Skopje but Sporting finished top thanks to two Caio Japa goals, the second five minutes from the end, against a Bratislava team who, having been cautious before the break, equalised through Rafaj Dušan to the delight of their 2,000 fans and night even had gone ahead themselves. Duarte, who retuned to Sporting in the summer after ten years as national coach, was finally satisfied after mixed feelings about the first two performances while Ján Janík praised his team in defeat.

Orlando Duarte, Sporting coach
I think we have seen the best game of the tournament. We played much better than in our previous game on Tuesday, therefore it was easier for us to secure a win than against Kobarid. The result was the same, but you must realise that even though we played better, we had stronger opponents. We respect Slov-Matic's strength, they have some good players amongst them, they have a very experienced coach, who prepared the team well for this tournament. They are very well organised and most importantly, they tried to play futsal.

The Slovakian side had three or four very good chances in the second half, we conceded a stupid goal after our players fell asleep. We created enough good chances, we could have scored more goals, but of course it is not that easy. We must be satisfied with first place even though I see room for improvement. I would like to thank all the people from the local organising committee, they out on a good tournament. We have the highest ambitions for the rest of the tournament, we want to win the Futsal Cup.

Ján Janík, Bratislava coach

Sporting played a system that is quite unusual for us to play against, zonal defence and pressing from the front. We are not used to this in our league, and we had a small problem adjusting to this system. After the first eight minutes, we realised how we had to play tonight, and after the break it was much better. We managed to create good chances and secure a good result for us. We equalised and with a bit of luck we could have taken the lead, Ladislav Mikita had a very good chance at the far post, unfortunately he didn't find the net.

However we were very close to a big sensation. We will play games like today's in the elite round. Every game will be as difficult as this one. We have tested our abilities and I am satisfied we proved to ourselves that we can play even with top European teams. The players will at least know what can they expect from the elite round. We have to get ready for tough matches. I think, we can be satisfied with this great success and the whole tournament itself. The organisation was perfect, we managed to interest the media in Slovakia and I hope we have also sent a good message to the public about the futsal we play.