UEFA Futsal Champions League final report: Barça 3-4 Sporting
Monday, May 3, 2021
Sporting CP made it two titles in three years after a brilliant second-half comeback to dethrone Barça 4-3 in Zadar.
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Sporting CP made it two UEFA Futsal Champions League titles in three years after overturning a 2-0 half-time deficit to dethrone Barça in Zadar.
Two early goals had helped Barça in October's delayed 2020 final against Murcia FS at their Palau Blaugrana; today in Zadar they were ahead within 51 seconds. Marcênio, who scored for Ugra Yugorsk in their 2016 final win, intercepted a Sporting pass, advanced and struck past Guitta for the fastest goal in any of this competition's 20 finals. Esquerdinha hit the post twice but Barça went in at half-time 2-0 up for the second final running as Daniel Shiraishi set Ximbinha clear to strike.
Six minutes into the second half two Sporting academy products combined to pull one back as Tomás Paço, 20, played across for the 19-year-old Zicky Té, inspirational in the second-half comeback, to control and roll the ball in. Just 91 seconds later it was 2-2, Pany Varela's kick-in headed home by Erick.
Sporting kept pushing and João Matos, in his record-equalling 15th finals appearance, tapped in after Taynan's free-kick squeezed through the legs of Didac Plana; the comeback had taken less then five minutes. Just under ten minutes remained for Barça but as they pushed, Erick hit the post with the holders' goal unguarded and Pany Varela, previously a winner with Benfica in 2010, followed up.
Ferrao pounced to pull one back with three minutes left and headed just wide in the dying seconds before the Sporting celebrations began.
Key player: Zicky Té
There has been great buzz aorund Zicky for a while, and his role as pivot became even more important when the experienced Cardinal was injured earlier this year. But few could have predicted just how the teenager would lead his side to a remarkable comeback on the biggest club stage of all.
Ricardinho played in a UEFA club final for Benfica in 2004 as a teenager as they lost to Inter. Now a new Portuguese sensation has ended up winning for Sporting.
- Sporting are only second team to overturn a two-goal deficit in a final after Kairat Almaty against FC Dynamo in 2013 (also 2-0 at half-time, finished 4-3).
- Zicky Té became the first teenager to score in a UEFA futsal final tournament.
- Marcênio's opener was the fastest in a final of this competition, beating by eight seconds Hernán Garcias's strike in 2011 for Montesilvano, also against Sporting.
- Sporting's João Matos and Barça's Aicardo became the first players to make 15 UEFA futsal club final tournament appearances.
Nuno Dias, Sporting coach: "I want to talk about the young players who were made in the Sporting academy and I want to thank all the coaches who were part of this process, a group of coaches I have worked with to make these players.
"I am very proud of being part of this group and once again I say this group of players are the real definition of the word 'team'. I have never worked with a group of players like this in my life. In five days we have beaten the Russian champions [KPRF], the Spanish champions [Inter FS] and now the European champions [Barça]."
João Matos, Sporting captain: "It's difficult to put into words what we are feeling. An amazing achievement for us based on commitment and togetherness against a great team like Barça. We were 2-0 down at haf-time and we came back to win. I’m proud to be part of this squad."
Andreu Plaza, Barça coach: "For us it is hard to lose after such a good first half. Almost without allowing [Sporting] any chances, we scored two goals and had more chances. But in the second half the first goal hurt and unsettled us. Their state of mind multiplied by ten and ours was divided by ten."