Columns Antun Bačić
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Futsal Champions League Finals: Tactical Analysis... Part Two!

KPRF - Tyumen 3-2 (pen.)

Matches for third place are hard. They usually come after disappointment, sorrow and loss. It is hard to recover and offer the best you have in that match – but you have to. In mentality of both teams, we could have felt a little lower level of motivation than in semi-finals, which was particularly evident with KPRF. Match itself was very balanced and Tyumen used similar tactical solutions like in first match against ElPozo (5on4 game, very high defense…). Close to the end of the first half, Taffy scores to bring advantage to Tyumen. Taffy was left alone on a goalpost after one break and had no problem putting that ball away.

In second half, we could have seen a much better KPRF, although that was overshadowed by a very nice display by Tyumen’s goalkeeper Gugiel. And after he parried everything that was possible and impossible, Niyazov caught him on the wrong foot in 35th minute and equalized the score. It looked at that moment that KPRF might turn things around because they were much better positioned on the court, but Milovanov scored for Tyumen in 38th minute, 2-1.

In the last two minutes of the match we could have seen a gung-ho approach applied by KPRF. Flying goalkeeper, plenty of shots, blocks, parries and sliding tackles.  At the very end of the match, big 10 seconds before full-time, Tyumen’s Gugiel parried a shot from 10m, then another shot from 5-6m immediately after, but he couldn’t stop the third shot in the same play. Asadov scored on an empty net and brought us to penalties. We saw more missed shots than on Friday, but it ended 3-1 for KPRF and Tyumen was left empty handed.

Barca – ElPozo Murcia 2-1

It is my opinion that the better team – lost the match. Better, of course, in this 40 minutes. Although, result dictates a lot of things, so it was expected that ElPozo would charge forward due to the fact that Barca took an early 2-0 lead. It is a fact, however, that Diego Giustozzi’s team was better in almost all segments of futsal play. Impression and statistics are on their side, but the important things such as victory and trophy went to the hands of Andreu Plaza’s team.

In early stage of the match, Barca took the lead practically out of the blue. It was 4th minute when Marcenio returned the ball to play and lifted the ball to Ferrao for a volley shot. The shot was not ideal, but the ball took a deflection on its way to the goal and tricked Espindola for the lead (it is my impression that Espindola could have reacted a bit better). Immediately after the goal – a big chance for ElPozo to equalize. Rafa received the ball at some 7 meters, fakes Esquerinha into empty space, but hits only the post.

Few minutes after, a second big (possibly the biggest) chance for ElPozo. After a corner, Alberto Garcia passes the ball on the second goal post where Dario was awaiting, alone 'as a ghost'. All he had to do was put the ball in an empty net, but the ball somehow dodged away in goal-out. ElPozo got ‘punished’ quite soon. Aicardo took possession of one ball some 15 meters away from goal and sends it to lower-right corner of a goal (the ball took another deflection on its way). Result was 2-0, unreal from what we saw on the court. ElPozo continued to play better, but they couldn’t create any proper goal scoring opportunities.

Immediately from the start of the second half we could have seen much willingness and determination from ElPozo to get back to the match. However, Barca played fantastic defense and did not allow many goal chances to ElPozo. Nevertheless, in 25th minute, former Barca player Leo Santana receives a ball and with a nice toe punt shot scores for 2-1 to bring ElPozo back to it.

ElPozo put all their cards into attack, trying desperately to score. Many of their shots ended up in Barca’s fantastic defensive block, and those balls that would get through were picked up by Didac. Best examples of this were shots by Leo Santana after a nice pass by his pivot Rafa in 32nd minute and shot by Cholo Salas in 36th minute. Barca had one terrific counter-attack, but Dyego was half-meter late for Ferrao’s pass and leaves the match fully open.

In last three minutes, ElPozo implemented a flying goalkeeper. In those three minutes we saw plenty shots, blocks, tackles, protests towards referees, yelling, jumping, rued chances…but Barca emerged victorious and celebrations could start.

Futsal is here!

Once again, futsal showcased all of its beauty and luxury. If you missed these games – you’ve missed a lot! Barca showed tremendous character, winning mentality. In moments when they were put on defensive, but also in moments when anyone else would back down (conceding a goal 10 seconds before full time in extra time), they had the strength and quality to withstand it all and lift the European champions trophy.

Barca - a team that gives away almost nothing, a team that has the incredible Ferrao and a number of other fantastic players, enjoys the moment! While ElPozo, Tyumen, KPRF and all other teams in Europe can stand in line and wait for their (next) chance...  

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Antun Bačić

Columnist

Antun Bačić

Columnist

This article was written by Antun Bačić, emerging young futsal coach, head coach of FC Split from Croatia and UEFA Futsal B License coach.