February 12 – Portugal claimed their maiden UEFA Futsal Championship title by defeating Spain 3-2 in extra time in Slovenia. In Asia, Iran took the highest honours, beating Japan 4-0.
The Portuguese do things the hard way. They defeated France in the Euro 2016 final in extra time thanks to a strike from Eder. This time, they needed added time to overcome Iberian rivals Spain in the European Futsal Championship.
Spain were the defending champions, but the game proved to be balanced. Portugal’s star Richardinho opened the scoring after just 59 seconds. Tolra drew level and Lin gave the Spanish the lead as they pushed on to win their 8th title. Bruno Coelho equalised with a volley to ensure extra time.
He’d prove the match winner, converting a penalty in extra time. Ricardinho was injured in in extra time and, in similar style to Cristiano Ronaldo in Paris, he urged his team on from the sidelines. Russia claimed the bronze medal with a 1-0 victory over Kazakhstan thanks to a goal from Eder Lima.
In Asia, Iran maintained their dominance in futsal, winning their 12th title, dispatching Japan 4-0 in the final of the 2018 AFC Futsal Championship. Captain Ali Asghar Hassanzadeh broke the deadlock just before half-time. Straight after the restart Farhard Tavakoli effectively ended the match with Iran’s second goal.
Hassanzadeh and Hossein Tayebi completed the 4-0 scoreline as Japan pushed forward in search of goals. Uzbekistan won the bronze, defeating Iraq 2-1 on penalties after both sides had played out a 4-4 draw.
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