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Hosts Inter beat Pescara to set up Ugra final

Pescara 2-4 Inter FS
Three-time winners Inter come from behind to set up a Guadalajara final against Ugra Yugorsk on Sunday.

Semi-final highlights: Pescara v Inter
  • Record three-time winners Inter come from behind to reach their sixth final
  • Ricardinho equalises and makes the second for Cardinal but sustains ankle injury
  • Watch highlights in the video player above
  • Sunday's final: Ugra Yugorsk v Inter (20.30CET)
  • Sunday's third-place play-off: Benfica v Pescara (18.00CET)

UEFA Futsal Cup hosts Inter FS are into a joint-record sixth final after coming from behind to end the hopes of debutants Pescara.

Inter were on top early on but fell behind when Mauro Canal turned in Leandro Cuzolino's inicisive long pass. Not to worry, Ortiz set off on a superb run and his shot was parried into the path of Ricardinho, who equalised, and his kick-in then set up Portugal colleague Cardinal to make it 2-1. Once Rafael extended the lead at the start of the second half following a Mario Rivillos cross, there seemed no way back for Pescara, but Gréllo, on as flying goalkeeper, set up Adolfo Salas to make for a nervy last three minutes. However, as time ran out, Rivillos turned in Cardinal's cross to start the celebrations.

Key player: Cardinal (Inter)
Many players made a big contribution: Ortiz, Ricardinho (despite the injury that left him sitting out the second half with his ankle strapped up, and has made him a doubt for the final) and Rafael to name but three. However, Cardinal took the second goal superbly and set up the fourth, in between giving a fine display of the art of the pivot.

Rafael, Pola and Cardinal celebrate
Rafael, Pola and Cardinal celebrate©Sportsfile

Inter have the confidence of old
It is seven years since Inter's record third final win but this display bore all the hallmarks of past glories, right down to the green shirts (now their change kit with blue the main colour these days). They did not let falling behind worry them and they seldom loosened their grip. A classic Spanish futsal display, even if the goalscorers were Portuguese and Brazilian.

Pescara firepower blunted
The unprecedented run of nine straight wins, with 54 goals, that took Pescara from the preliminary round to the semi-finals on debut was impressive but despite some fine play, notably by Maximiliano Rescia, they were generally frustrated by Jesús Herrero and an Inter defence marshalled by Ortiz, who received an ovation from the home fans every time he came on to the pitch.

Cardinal receives his man of the match award
Cardinal receives his man of the match award©Sportsfile

Cardinal, Inter forward
A team like Inter with the players we have, we are used to playing in front of such big crowds and in high-pressure situations. We knew it was going to be a really tough game and that Pescara would never give us. We were able to stand firm when we needed to.

I think we struggled a little bit early on with nerves, but this team thrives on pressure, we came through and now it’s time to rest and tomorrow start preparing for the final. I know all about the Ugra players, how they play, as I follow the Russian league closely.

Jesús Velasco, Inter coach
I think that the pressure did get to us and it was noticeable in our play which wasn't as fluent as I would have liked or as we usually are. Pescara also deserve credit for that, because they are a very cautious team who don't take many risks, they cede the initiative, they don't give you any space and often force you to take your decisions too quickly.

Mario Rivillos makes it 4-2
Mario Rivillos makes it 4-2©Sportsfile

We came under quite a lot of pressure in the second half when they used the flying keeper but as a team we are very good at defending that tactic. We have a very well-drilled and compact defence, very well coordinated. But the main thing was that we should have killed the game off before that point. We had chances to do so and we didn’t take them. We had to grit our teeth and ride our luck a little bit. I think we were the better team today.

Ricardinho is a doubt [for the final], it's all about how his body responds to the knock that he took. The next 24 to 36 hours are key.

Fulvio Colini, Pescara coach
I am proud of how my team battled and took the game to Inter all the way. The home fans had put a lot of pressure on us and were behind their team. It's very hard to beat Inter here but I feel we did ourselves justice. I think overall inter deserved to win, but we gave it everything we had, not just when we used the flying goalkeeper but before that too.

We'll take things calmly, make sure everybody gets a good rest then we'll start to plan for Sunday as everybody really wants to go home with a bronze medal.