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Holders Spain, Portugal, Ukraine, and Hungary will compete in the third UEFA Women’s Futsal EURO final tournament in March after winning through October’s main round.
Spain will be targeting a third straight title, having won the previous editions in 2019 and 2022, both held in Gondomar, Portugal. The host nation finished runners-up in those tournaments, while Ukraine came fourth in 2019 and took bronze the next time out. Hungary made their finals debut in 2022, ending fourth.
The tournament will again run as a knockout event, with semi-finals followed two days later by a third-place match and final. The finals hosts, and exact dates for the draw and matches, are yet to be confirmed.
On Saturday, the Spanish Women’s National Team, led by Claudia Pons, sealed the Pre-European Championship with another brilliant win against Finland (2-7 ), which was played in the Finnish town of Vantaa and qualified for the Final Four.
The Spanish barely took a minute to open the scoring, which facilitated their positional play and their best attack. Although after four minutes the game was almost over (0-4), after two goals from Vane Sotelo, one from Lauermaa in his own goal and another from Ale de Paz, Lind put Finland in the game but Dany reacted before the break.
After the break, Spain knew how to control the tempo of the match and increase its score with two new goals, one by Vane Sotelo, author of a hat-trick, and another by Mayte Mateo, who closed the account.
The Portuguese women’s futsal team qualified by beating Italy 5-1 in Fafe, district of Braga in Group 3 of the qualifying stage. Fifó opened the scoring in the 15th minute, before Rafaela Dal Maz equalized, in the 27th, in the same minute which ‘captain’ Ana Azevedo put her team in front, before Pisco (36), and Cátia Morgado (38 and 39) sealed the victory.
With this result, and after victories over Belarus (14-0) and Slovenia (12-0), Luís Conceição’s team reached nine points, out of a possible nine, leaving the Italians with six and ‘stamping’ their place in Euro2023, which will be played at one of the finalists country and venue designated by UEFA.
The Ukrainian women’s futsal team will play in the final tournament for the third time in a row. In their final match of the main qualifying round, the Ukrainian women drew with the Polish national team – 1:1. At the start of the match, the “blue and yellow” missed a goal opportunity from Paula Fronchak, but before the break, Yuliya Titova put away a cross at the far post and secured the team a draw.
This result ensured the Ukrainian women took first place in the group with 7 points and won a ticket to the continental championship. Earlier, Oleg Shaitanov’s team beat the Netherlands (5:2) and defeated Croatia (5:1).
The Hungarian women’s team led by Tamás Frank defeated their hosts the Czech Republic 3-0 in the final round of the qualifiers fixtures on Saturday, thus winning the group undefeated.
The Hungarians – who finished fourth in the final four of the continental tournament in Portugal in July this year – played a 1-1 draw with the Slovaks on Wednesday, and then defeated the Bosnians 3-2 in the group on Thursday.
(Main picture source: UEFA)
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