UEFA.com works better on other browsers
For the best possible experience, we recommend using Chrome, Firefox or Microsoft Edge.

UEFA Women's Futsal EURO 2023 semi-finals: Ukraine and Spain set up Sunday decider

Spain beat Portugal 3-2 and will go for a hat-trick of titles on Sunday against Ukraine, who defeated hosts Hungary 2-1.

Ukraine's double goalscorer Anna Shulha (centre) celebrates with Iuliia Forsiuk (left) and Iryna Dubytska (right)
Ukraine's double goalscorer Anna Shulha (centre) celebrates with Iuliia Forsiuk (left) and Iryna Dubytska (right) UEFA via Getty Images

Ukraine and Spain will face off in Sunday's UEFA Women's Futsal EURO 2023 final at Főnix Aréna, Debrecen, after winning tight last-four ties.

Having beaten Portugal in the first two finals of 2019 and 2022, Spain pipped their neighbours in the semis this time around 3-2 despite conceding in the opening seconds. Ukraine, who fell in the last four in both previous tournaments, went one better with their own comeback victory against hosts Hungary.

Debrecen finals

Friday 17 March

Spain 3-2 Portugal
Ukraine 2-1 Hungary 

Sunday 19 March

Third-place play-off:
Hungary vs Portugal (17:00)
Ukraine vs Spain (20:00)

All times CET.

Spain 3-2 Portugal 

Highlights: Spain 3-2 Portugal

Spain, who beat Portugal in the first two finals of 2019 and 2022, are in the decider again after edging victory. The sizeable Portugal support was immediately celebrating as qualifying top scorer Carla Vanessa struck after just 21 seconds following determined work by Cátia Morgado, the fastest goal in a Women's Futsal EURO finals. Spain picked up the pace and in the 13th minute Luci produced a left-footed finish after Laura Córdoba had won the ball inside the Portugal half. Not long afterwards Noelia turned home María Sanz's kick-in to put the holders in front.

Janice Silva, always dangerous, so nearly levelled early in the second half as her shot deflected on to the woodwork. And Portugal's good work paid off as Carla Vanessa finished off a fine move to become the first player to 20 career goals in this competition, including qualifiers.

But within 24 seconds Irene Córdoba, scorer of the winning penalty in the 2022 final shoot-out, slid in to intercept a pass and restore the Spain lead. Portugal kept pressing, a double save from Silvia Aguete with just over six minutes left to the frustration of Fifó, but Spain nearly doubled their lead as Irene Córdoba hit the post from a ten-metre penalty.

Winning scorer Irene Córdoba celebrates with María Sanz
Winning scorer Irene Córdoba celebrates with María Sanz UEFA via Sportsfile

Key stat: Spain have still never lost a Women's Futsal EURO game, the only draw over 40 minutes in the 2022 final against Portugal which they won on penalties.

Cláudia Pons, Spain coach: "In a match like this and against an opponent like Portugal you’re always going to struggle because this is the highest level in women’s futsal. We knew what we had to do before the semi-final and that didn’t change just because we went down after a few seconds. We had to cope with a lot before these finals and this win just highlights everybody’s work.

"We want to win the title for a third time and this is was the first step towards that objective. I think it was a great match for the fans and now we’ll rest a bit and start to prepare the final, but only after knowing who we will face."

Luci, Spain goalscorer: "I wasn't a bit worried when we conceded the early goal because I know this team and what we are capable of on the pitch. We settled down and started to play our game and the result is there. We knew it was going to be very hard against such a strong opponent like Portugal but I think we deserve to be in the final.

"It’s always amazing to score a goal for my country but even more when that happens at a semi-final. We worked very hard for this moment and we had to face quite a few adversities but every single player left it all out there."

Peque leads the celebrations after captaining Spain to victory on her 100th appearance
Peque leads the celebrations after captaining Spain to victory on her 100th appearanceUEFA via Sportsfile

Luís Conceição, Portugal coach: "You simply cannot make so many mistakes like the ones we did today when you’re facing Spain in the semi-finals of a Women’s Futsal EURO. It just doesn’t work. We improved in the second half and we managed to make it 2-2 but then we made another mistake and conceded a third goal.

"I still believe we have more quality when compared to Spain but maybe it’s now a mental question rather than tactical aspects. This defeat is an especially hard one to cope with but we need to raise our heads because there’s still a match to play on Sunday and of course we want to win it.”

Ana Azevedo, Portugal captain: "It hurts a lot to lose again against Spain and it’s really hard to find the words to talk now. It’s true we made some mistakes that cost us a lot but that’s part of the game and I believe we gave everything we had in order to get a different result.

"It will be really difficult to recover from this defeat, especially mentally, but we need to somehow find the strength do pull it out because there’s still a medal to win and we want to honour Portugal until the end."

Ukraine 2-1 Hungary

Highlights: Ukraine 2-1 Hungary

A double from the outstanding Anna Shuhla took Ukraine into their first final with a comeback victory against the hosts. Ukraine beat Hungary 2-1 for bronze last July in Gondomar after going two up and were on top early on again. However, just as in 2022, Hungary keeper Lilla Torma proved tough to beat and the hosts took the lead when Viktória Horváth produced a skilful turn deep in her own half, led a solo break and produced a strong finish.

Ukraine quickly responded, the outstanding Shulha finishing off a quick corner move to finally find a way past Torma. Shulha, who missed the 2022 finals through injury, also hit the woodwork late in the first half as Ukraine resumed their dominance, and she did so again not long after the break, as well as shooting wide when well placed.

Lilla Torma impressed for Hungary in goal
Lilla Torma impressed for Hungary in goalUEFA via Sportsfile

But Shulha did have her second with just under nine minutes left, pouncing after a blocked shot. Oleg Shaytanov's side saw the game out and, having finished fourth in 2019 and third in 2022, will be first or second in 2023.

Key fact: Ukraine follow in the footsteps of their men, who reached their Futsal EURO final in 2001 and 2003, each time with the squad including Shaytanov.

Oleg Shaytanov, Ukraine coach: "It's an incredible feeling to reach the final. It hasn't been an easy journey. We've had many injuries, and there's been much sweat and tears, but we're in the final, and it's unbelievable.

"We fully expected Hungary to be an incredibly tough opponent to overcome. We've had a couple of close matches against them in Cherkasy and in the last EURO. We perhaps didn't finish our chances like we should have at times, but the result is what matters though, as first and foremost, our aim was to reach the final."

Anna Shulha, Ukraine goalscorer: "It’s really an amazing feeling to have reached the final. We're delighted to be here at this tournament. We were ready for the type of game it turned out to be, with our opponents defending deeply, but we never felt that the winning goal wouldn't arrive.

"I'm happy that my injury woes are behind me and make up for missing the last one by playing in this tournament, and it feels really amazing to score the two goals which have put us in the final. It doesn't matter who scores though, the important thing is that we're in the final."

Anna Shulha was Ukraine's star less than a year after serious injury
Anna Shulha was Ukraine's star less than a year after serious injuryUEFA via Sportsfile

Tamás Frank, Hungary coach: "Ukraine dominated the match throughout. They were in the ascendancy, they were strong, quick. We're a bit disappointed to have not played the way we know we can, in front of such a great crowd. Ukraine were deserved winners."

Lilla Torma, Hungary goalkeeper: "It was a really tough match; we had to work incredibly hard. We'd counted on it being such, and that's how it turned out to be. Ukraine had a lot of possession and placed our goal under immense pressure.

"The whole arena exploded [when Viktória Horváth’s goal went in]. It was an indescribable feeling, very difficult to put in words. Phenomenal. It means everything [to be here]. It's our dream. We're Hungarian. An athlete can only dream of playing in front of so many people, and to represent your country, is wonderful. It's a great thing to experience. It's the dream of all young girls who play, to put on the national jersey, and represent their nation, at home."