From an declared loss in the first half to an epic victory. After losing by two points at the end of the first half, Sporting won their second European Futsal Championship, beating Barcelona 4-3, capping an exciting campaign in the “Final 8” in Zadar, Croatia. In the disputed fifth final, this was the second European title for “Lions” in the past three seasons, after the conquest in 2019, and at the expense of who was the European champion in the title.
None of this was possible after the first 20 minutes, as it was dominated by experienced Barcelona who was totally in control and always concerned with Leonin’s mistakes. And so it was right after 50 seconds of play. Merlin made a missed pass, Marcinho took advantage of the score and, on the counterattack, took a 0-1 lead. It was the worst way to start the final, and the “Lions” seemed to accuse the touch, and a series of mistakes accumulated in the first minutes that limited their defensive capabilities against the Catalan players.
Sporting took a dangerous approach, but failed to penetrate Didac Plana’s net. And Barcelona, the official, of course, attacked with two balls to iron from the goal of Geeta before he could score 0-2, in the 18th minute. In losing the ball in the attack in which Sporting requested a mistake, Barcelona launched another counter attack and Ximbinha scored, when Guitta approached Another goal for Barcelona, who went to the half with an advantage that gave him confidence. Address renewed.
There was no historical precedent for a team to recover from a similar handicap in a European final. But there was resilience and hunger in this “Leonin” team that was already evident in the previous two rounds against KPRG Moscow and Inter Movistar and that reappeared in the second half against Barcelona. Whatever Nuno Dias said in the break, he succeeded because Sporting entered 20 minutes into the second half with a desire to face this story.
Zaki T fueled the hopes of “Leonen” in the 26th minute, with a goal with the right foot directly after the goal, after a pass by Thomas Baku. The Portuguese Guinean dominated with his left foot and shot with his right before any Barcelona player could overtake him. The youthful pivot from Sporting was already giving an element of unpredictability to the “Lions” attack and completely capsized the final in the next five minutes.
Eric Mendonca made it 2-2 with a header after the ball was substituted by Bunny Varela, in the 28th minute, and in the 31st minute, it was captain Joao Matos who scored 3-2 in reloading the ball onto the goal post. Tayana accuses her. Bunny increased to 4-2 on a counterattack in the 37th minute, and reduced Barcelona to 38 minutes by Ferrao, but that was not enough to face the “Lions” collective spirit in this final.
There were many players who repeated the European title in 2019 (the 2-1 win over Cairat Almaty), such as Captain Joao Matos, Cavinato, Guetta, Merlem or Bani Varela, and they were experienced players who this time relied on the recklessness of Zeke’s youth. T, aged only 19, or Thomas Baku, 21, both trained at the club and played an integral role in the European victory.
Leading this group, Nuno Dias, who captained the sporting pentathlon footballer for nine years, is also a two-time champion and proclaimed “great pride” in a team that never ceased to believe: “I have a lot of pride. To here to Croatia. I have never had a group like that. I don’t know if the futsal world has any idea of the achievement that Sporting today is. Within five days, he won the Russian champion, the Spanish champion and the European champion in three matches. “