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Giannis Ziavas made a huge analysis of futsal World Cup Qualifiers!

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The ELITE round games were just concluded two days ago with the last remaining games for group D, and we have the four European teams that qualified directly for the next 2020 Futsal World Cup

These teams are Portugal, Spain, Russia, and Kazakhstan, and also the four teams that got a place in the playoffs and will compete for the remaining 2 positions leading to the World Cup.

Although the four teams that topped their groups were the favorites, it was evident that the distance between the favorite teams and the rest is becoming smaller, as many futsal experts have already noted.

 

Spain only with 100%

Only to confirm this, we can recall some group game results where 3 out of the four favorite teams that topped their group suffered one surprise result in this qualifying phase: Portugal – Finland 2:2, Russia – Azerbaijan 3:4, Kazakhstan – Romania 1:3.

Only Spain went through with the entire collection of points, facing difficulty only in a small part of the last game against host Serbia. Spain had 2:0, Serbia returned in the game with a goal, and tried to equalize before Spain establish their dominance and win with 5:1.

 

GROUP A: Italy is out!

Portugal playing at home and coming as the current European Champion, was the indisputable favorite. Although they were shocked by brave Finland (0:2 until 38'), they managed to save the game (2:2) and finish top of the group reminding us of their team quality and players' personality that took them to the top.

Finland is the runner up in the group leaving Italy out. Some could say this is the surprise of the Elite round but not for those of us that know Mico Martic! Not for those of us, that know the hard work he and his assistants have put in this team since day one and over the past six years that they started this project.

Finland is an excellent example for all the countries that are not traditional futsal powers and do not count on imported players' quality. It is an excellent example for any team starting from a low ranking that knowledge, vision, and hard work can take you to the top level.

Mico Martic

 

GROUP B: Spain is probably the best tactical team in Europe 

Spain showed in the group games that it remains one of the top teams in Europe, and Coach Vidal seems ready to continue the legacy of the successful Venancio Lopez.

Probably the best tactical team in Europe and with a roster full of top-level players. Compact defense and solutions for every aspect of the game. One of my favorites to win the World Cup.

Serbia is the runner up of the group confirming their tactical team evolution these past 1-2 years and, of course, fully utilizing the fact that they hosted the tournament and played home games.

An interesting observation is a fact that all three hosting teams Serbia, Czech Republic, and Croatia utilized the home games advantage and reached the 2nd place in their groups and went through to the playoffs.

 

GROUP C: Croatia has significant potential!

Russia was the big favorite of the group. It is a powerful, talented, and experienced team that has shown for many years now that it has the consistency to go far and target high places in the final tournaments and not be troubled in earlier stages.

The impressive win of Azerbaijan over Russia (4:3) was not followed by good results by the enormous potential but not a stable Azerbaijan team.

This gave a chance to the hosting team of Croatia (that had made the 2:2 in the first games) to play the "final" game of the group challenging as equals the Russian team for 1st group place and direct qualification to the World Cup.

Croatia lost the game, but the team has great potential for the years to come as their league is one of the strongest and most unpredictable in Europe, creating this high-level generation of players. Not to forget also that U19 team reached the final in the recent EURO-U19 championship.

 

GROUP D – Kazakhstan creates a lot of chances!

Kazakhstan was in this group, the favorite team. It continued to depend a lot in its power play game with the one of a kind Goalkeeper Higuita.

In the first two games, they created a lot of chances, especially in the game versus Romania, with and without the power play game but scored relatively weak %, and this cost them a lost game against Romania (1:3), and only a last-second victory against Slovenia (4:3).

In the final game of the group versus hosts the Czech Republic, they scored some easy goals in the beginning and came through the pressure of the home team and crowd to secure a clear victory (5:2).

The host team of the Czech Republic did excellent work with victories against similar strength teams of Romania and Slovenia, fully utilizing the home advantage and secured the 2nd place and the playoffs.

Giannis Ziavas

 

About Greek Euro campaign

The Greek National Futsal team participated last week in the preliminary group games for next Futsal EURO 2022. We managed to finish 2nd in the group after an essential victory in the previous match against Sweeden.

Now we are in the playoffs, and we are waiting for the draw (13th February) to find out our opponent for the double games (away and home). After some years of the Greek team beeing absent from making some critical victory, we are ready for the challenge to aim for the main qualification round.

We try to make a new team mixing the experience that many of the players have but with a new tactical approach. I am in charge of only during the last 16 months. 

Unfortunately, we cannot support this project with the necessary participation in international friendly games and tournaments, but we try to do our best with the existing situation.

The teams that might be our opponent in the playoff games for the advance to the qualifying round are not far from our ranking and strength, and we feel that we have an excellent chance to advance.

This will be a massive success for Greek futsal and participating in the group phase competing with some of the best teams in Europe with for the first time home, and away group games will give a boost to greek futsal from every aspect.

 

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