Dina and Kairat state semi-final ambition
Thursday, 23 April 2015
ISK Dina Moskva coach Andrei Yudin is optimistic of making the final "with or without" injury doubt Dmitri Prudnikov while Kairat Almaty's Cacau hopes Divanei will win them Lisbon support.
Article top media content
• Dina have made semi-final in first European entry; Kairat at this stage for seventh time
• 2013 champions Kairat have lost four semi-finals against Russian clubs
• Kairat's team includes Divanei, formerly of hosts Sporting Clube de Portugal
• Dina hope to have captain Dmitri Prudnikov available despite an ankle injury
• Final and third-place play-off both on Sunday
Kairat Almaty are aiming to break their UEFA Futsal Cup last-four jinx against Russian teams when they meet European debutants ISK Dina Moskva to open the finals at Lisbon's Meo Arena on Friday.
Four times Kairat have played sides from Russia at this stage and on each occasion they have been beaten. In all, this is their record seventh semi-final and only once have they got further, in 2013 in Tbilisi when they were to overcome Russia's FC Dynamo in the final.
Dina have stormed through with six victories from six on their European bow, the only club that started in the main round to reach these finals. But they are not strangers to continental competition, having won a predecessor non-UEFA tournament three times in the 1990s, when they were dominant in Russia with players such as Konstantin Eremenko and their current coach Andrei Yudin.
Andrei Yudin, Dina coach
There is hope that [Prudnikov] plays. As for Prudnikov himself, he is a very strong player who defines our game, our captain. But we are the champions of Russia and our strength lies in the team, not just in Prudnikov. If he doesn't play tomorrow, there will be a team trying to win without Prudnikov.
The best teams in Europe this year are here, and each of them wants to win this tournament. Of course, to win it you have to win your semi-final first. We also came here to win. Tomorrow's match will be the most important for me as a coach so far, and for all our players too.
When we got here, I heard [Dina's Spanish international] Alemao saying that should we win the UEFA Futsal Cup then he would dye his hair green, which is the colour of our club. Unfortunately I am not as inventive as that – I would just be the happiest coach on earth at that moment.
Cacau, Kairat coach
Dina won last season's Russian championship against the European runners-up [Dynamo] so they deserve all our respect. We are prepared, we have studied Dina very closely but tomorrow it will be different. What we'll have tomorrow will be determination and we are going to try not to make mistakes.
Divanei is an idol at Sporting and we hope that will encourage the crowd to support Kairat. He's a great person, a great athlete.
I'm not ashamed to say that I am just beginning my career and I want to learn. I have a lot of respect for everyone here. But we are here to win the UEFA [Futsal Cup]. We have made good signings this year, we have prepared very well and we hope that tomorrow you will see a different Kairat from the team that won the title in 2013.
Will miss final/third-place play-off if booked
Dina: Carlinhos, Esquerdinha, Danil Kutuzov
Kairat: Dinmukhambet Suleimenov, Douglas
Competition top scorers
Dina: Dmitri Prudnikov 8
Kairat: Divanei, Leo 4
Dina: first appearance
Kairat: W1 L5
• Dina players Prudnikov, Konstantin Agapov and goalkeeper Sergei Zuev were in the MFK Sinara Ekaterinburg team that ousted Kairat 4-1 in the 2008 semis in Moscow on their way to lifting the trophy.
• Of the Kairat players that won in 2013, goalkeeper Higuita, Dinmukhambet Suleimenov, Leo, Joan, Dinmukhambet Suleimenov and Alexandre Moraes remain along with coach Cacau.
• In eight encounters with Russian sides, Kairat have a record of W2 D1 L5; other than the 2008 semi-final, all were against Dynamo.
• Kairat clinched a 12th straight Kazakh title last week.
• Dina lie third in the Russian table. The top eight enter the play-offs.