Kairat Almaty 1-2 FC Dynamo
The Russian club avenged their defeat in last year's final courtesy of Fernandinho's 38th-minute goal in Baku, thus deposing Kairat.
Article top media content
FC Dynamo made amends for their UEFA Futsal Cup final defeat last term by ending the 12-month reign of European champions Kairat Almaty with a late Fernandinho goal.
The climactic moment of an always tense match in Baku arrived after Danilo Baron had equalised Nando's second-half opener for Dynamo with ten minutes still to play – seemingly, one imagined, to inspire a Kairat comeback victory. Instead Fernandinho touched in Romulo's set piece to finally separate the sides.
While Dynamo had an early period of intense pressure, this was bookended by shots narrowly wide at either end from Romulo and Kairat's Fumasa. Azerbaijan is the so-called Land of Fire and it did not take this game long to spark. Come the midway point in the first half the teams, who had traded seven goals in last season's showpiece, were cancelling each other out, though Leo went tantalisingly close.
Kairat were aiming to become the first back-to-back champions since Playas de Castellón FS in 2002 and 2003, and goalkeeper Higuita, last year's match winner, drew a save from Gustavo close to half-time as Cacau's men finished strongly.
However, Tino Pérez's troops – seeking to reach a third straight final for the second time in their history – stood firm. They then survived the scare of Alexandre Moraes's dangerous strike and promptly took the lead, Nando squeezing the ball beyond Higuita from Romulo's assist. Pula nearly made it two. At the other end, Gustavo's strong hand kept out his flying opposite number; next Fumasa teed up Baron to blast off the underside of the bar before the same player swept in Alexandre's cutback.
Fumasa and Leo both threatened as Kairat suddenly held sway. Certainly Kazakhstani voices were being raised louder than Russian ones and almost reached a crescendo when Baron fired against the upright. However, the biggest cheer belonged to Dynamo who went back in front with under two minutes to play: Fernandinho turning in Romulo's clever free-kick from close range. A place in Saturday's decider is their reward.