ITALY vs SLOVENIA -> match report

UEFA Futsal EURO 2018
Line-ups and game details on UEFA.com

by Luca Ranocchiari - Futsalplanet.com editor

Italy vs Slovenia 1-2 (1-0)

Great atmosphere
A huge flag of Slovenia gave the teams the welcome for the deciding game of Group A between hosts country and Italy, with the Arena Stozice breathing futsal enthusiasm and probably sold out.

Honorio opener
After two Slovenian attempts with Fetic and Vrhovec, Italy went very close to the lead with Merlim and then opened the score thanks to Luparense's star Honorio.
Italy seemed not to suffer the "hostile climate" given by thousands of local fans in the Arena Stozice, and put constant pressure on Dobovicnik's roster, forced to count three fouls in the first five minutes.

Italy assault
Music didn't change in the following minutes, with Italy dominating the scene and Slovenia saying thanks to Damir Puskar for his resistance vs Honorio, Merlim and De Oliveira endless series of attempts at goal.
The first real and dangerous local chance came just at minute 10 with a brilliant action ended with the heroic man of the match Rok Mordej touch close to Mammarella's goal.

Both coaches asked their time-out minute in the second middle of the first half, as the game was not anymore following a sure direction towards Italy or Slovenia and tension started to appear in the pitch.

Cujec, goalkeeper
With five minutes left in the first half Andrej Dobovicnik gave the keeper shirt to Kristjan Cujec but the aim was apparently just to manage the ball without trying to get the tie, for the angry reaction of Italy's coach Roberto Menichelli.

Cujec on fire
A more "relaxed" game started in the second half, till Cujec had two great chances to score but was first denied by Mammarella and then his volley went out for a while.
Slovenia then produced their maximum effort and forced Italy to stay in the last ten metres of pitch. Totoskovic and Fidersek were close to the draw, so did Cujec few minutes later.

Fair play, please
A ball lost by Ziga Ceh close to the italian bench caused some fight between players and staffs, including some stuff thrown by slovenian fans (game attendance: 10.342) in the pitch. Definitely not the best moment of UEFA Futsal Euro 2018.

De Oliveira close
Almost reaching the minute 9 in second half Italy's Julio De Oliveira had a huge chance to score, just denied by a Puskar's miracle.

Osredkar makes the Arena Stozice getting crazy
Minute 10', a wonderful assist by Fidersek can't really be wasted by Slovenia's captain Igor Osredkar: 1-1 underlined by the green torcida's roar.

Intense game
As the 1-1 draw would have left Italy out of the challenge, with 4'30 left Menichelli's obvious choice is Merlim as flying keeper: live or die.

Osredkar execution
Italian hopes came to an end with a ball stolen by Osredkar who scored the 2-1 advantage in the empty azzurri's goal. Italy out, Slovenia and Serbia through.


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