Sporting and Dina target bronze
Saturday, 25 April 2015
Sporting Clube de Portugal and ISK Dina Moskva came back from improbable positions to level their semis but still find themselves in Sunday's third-place play-off.
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Both Sporting Clube de Portugal and ISK Dina Moskva came back from seemingly impossible positions to level their UEFA Futsal Cup semi-finals, but still find themselves in Sunday's third-place play-off.
Sporting, roared on by a record 12,076 crowd at Lisbon's Meo Arena, recovered from 3-1 down against FC Barcelona, only to concede twice in the last minute. Debutants Dina struck two in the dying seconds to force extra time against Kairat Almaty, but in the end lost 7-4.
Alex, part of the Sporting team that lost the 2012 third-place play-off to Marca Futsal on penalties, said: "The team are aware they have to win, we are playing at home. We have the big responsibility of finishing on the podium.
"It's not every day that you have the possibility of playing against the Russian champions so there will be no lack of motivation. History shows that third place play-off matches have been very good as part of the show that is the Futsal Cup."
As for Dina, their debut campaign has been impressive, but their semi-final performance came at a price as captain Dmitri Prudnikov took painkillers in his ankle to play and score twice. Coach Andrei Yudin told UEFA.com: "His injury is pretty serious and the consequences could be very harsh. We still have decisive play-off matches [in Russia] to play."
Before they attempt to retain their domestic title and return to Europe, there is a bronze medal to play for against Sporting. Yudin said: "Sporting are a team with a distinctive character, stubbornness and fighting spirit. That is why we have to play better than yesterday. Third place is also a victory. A small victory, a small second final."