Matchday 12 review: IR Iran, Portugal and Spain complete quarter-final line-up
IR Iran edge Uzbekistan in an instant classic
Spain keep Czech Republic at bay
Portugal outlast Serbia in extra-time
Uzbekistan 8-9 IR Iran, Vilnius Portugal 4-3 (AET) Serbia, Kaunas Spain 5-2 Czech Republic, Vilnius
Target practice in record-breaking World Cup match This Round of 16 clash was the futsal equivalent of a rollercoaster ride with no brakes. With play constantly flowing from one end of the court to the other, the players could have netted even more than the 17 goals that made this the highest-scoring and arguably most thrilling encounter of the tournament. Uzbekistan once again proved consistently dangerous from set pieces, dazzling the crowd with their extensive repertoire and scoring once again from a dead-ball situation. Yet the Uzbeks conceded on the counter-attack from their own corners twice, while IR Iran captain Ali Hassanzadeh notched up his 12th and 13th FIFA Futsal World Cup™ goals. Never before in Futsal World Cup history has there been a match in which both teams have scored so many goals in normal time. It was also the highest-scoring knockout game in World Cup history.
Wide awake from the first kick-off, caught napping on the second To beat the favourites as an underdog, you have to hope that the favourites underestimate you. Unfortunately for the Czech Republic, Spain did not make that mistake in Vilnius today. La Roja took the challenge extremely seriously and delivered a disciplined performance, once again scoring several well-worked team goals to remind everyone that they are a force to be reckoned with. However, the match was briefly turned on its head at the start of the second half as the Czechs’ impressive power play showed the two-time world champions what can happen when you take your foot off the gas.
Hassanzadeh of Iran scores
VILNIUS, LITHUANIA - SEPTEMBER 24: Ali Hassanzadeh of Iran scores their team's first goal during the FIFA Futsal World Cup 2021 Round of 16 match between Uzbekistan and Iran at Vilnius Arena on September 24, 2021 in Vilnius, Lithuania. (Photo by Alex Caparros - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)
Hassanzadeh of Iran celebrates with teammates
VILNIUS, LITHUANIA - SEPTEMBER 24: Ali Hassanzadeh of Iran celebrates with teammates after scoring their team's first goal during the FIFA Futsal World Cup 2021 Round of 16 match between Uzbekistan and Iran at Vilnius Arena on September 24, 2021 in Vilnius, Lithuania. (Photo by Alexander Scheuber - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)
Aksentijevic’s night starts with somersaults and ends with an early bath Miodrag Aksentijevic limbered up with a few acrobatic tumbles in the final few seconds before kick-off. The Serbian goalkeeper’s efforts initially appeared to pay off as he made a series of stunning saves to keep his team in the game. Nevertheless, he was powerless to stop a stroke of genius from Portuguese magician Ricardinho, who tucked the ball into the back of the net with a clever back-heeled finish. Jovan Lazarevic netted his third and fourth goals of the tournament for Serbia to force extra-time for the first time at Lithuania 2021. Portugal coach Jorge Braz fired up his players with a rousing team talk before the additional period, which featured three goals and a red card for Aksentijevic as Pany’s brace sealed the deal for Portugal.
"We were almost at our very best in the first half. We started the game really well but lost some of our intensity in the second half. That’s something we can’t afford to do at a World Cup because it can be very costly, as the Czech Republic proved. We can’t let that happen again." Adolfo Fernandez
"What a tough match. We knew that’s how it would be; that’s what happens when you reach the knockout stages of a World Cup. Now our attention turns to Spain. We know them well; they’re a fantastic team. Our preparations for that game start now." Ricardinho
Quarter-finals (all times local):
Morocco - Brazil 26 September, 16:00, Vilnius
RFU - Argentina 26 September, 18:30, Kaunas Spain - Portugal 27 September, 17:30, Vilnius IR Iran - Kazakhstan 27 September, 20:00, Kaunas