UEFA play-offs to decide continent’s last two World Cup places
Serbia face Finland while Croatia take on Czech Republic
Spain, Kazakhstan, Portugal, Russia and hosts Lithuania already assured berths
Europe’s final two places at the FIFA Futsal World Cup Lithuania 2021 will be determined between 6 and 10 November 2020 in a play-off series featuring the four second-placed sides from the UEFA elite round. The line-up sees Serbia go up against Finland, and Croatia take on Czech Republic.
6 November, first leg
Serbia 1-0 Finland
7 November, first leg
Croatia 2-2 Czech Republic (19:00, in Zadar)
10 November, second leg
Czech Republic-Croatia (18:10, in Brno)
In their showdown with Finland, Serbia will be hoping to draw on their experience of reaching the 2012 Futsal World Cup. The Finns, for their part, have yet to grace a major international tournament. The teams’ head-to-head record also favours the Balkan side, who have triumphed in all four of their prior official meetings. Finland coach Mico Martic, who played at one Futsal World Cup and one European Championship with Croatia, will be trying to pass that experience on to his team as they attempt to make history.
By contrast, the play-off between Croatia and Czech Republic will be the meeting of two old acquaintances, whose matches have always been tight affairs. In fact, when Croatia last qualified for the Futsal World Cup in 2000, they sealed their place with a 7-6 victory over Czech Republic in the decisive qualifying match. That said, the Czechs are regular participants at the World Cup and will be going all out to secure a fourth appearance at the global showpiece.
The FIFA Futsal World Cup Lithuania 2021 will be played from 12 September to 3 October, the day the next champions will be crowned. The 13 countries qualified thus far are:
AFC: qualifying yet to be held
CAF: Angola, Egypt, Morocco
Concacaf: qualifying yet to be held
CONMEBOL: Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, Venezuela
OFC: Solomon Islands
UEFA: Spain, Kazakhstan, Lithuania (hosts), Portugal, Russia