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Italy beat Russia to win UEFA Futsal EURO 2014
Saturday, 08 February 2014 14:05
futsalwireItaly 3-1 RussiaItaly claimed their second UEFA Futsal EURO title after an exceptional display condemned Russia to their second straight final loss.

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Italy 3-1 RussiaItaly claimed their second UEFA Futsal EURO title after an exceptional display condemned Russia to their second straight final loss.

Italy claimed victory at UEFA Futsal EURO 2014 with a tremendous display against Russia in Antwerp.Related ItemsItaly's wonderful nightTired Russia accept defeatEder Lima tops scorersSpain claim bronzeSpain begin 2016 plansPick of the tournamentFutsal EURO in photosItaly triumph in AntwerpShayakhmetov on RussiaLima's champions guideChampions on home soil in 2003 but beaten by Spain four years later in Porto, Italy had captain Gabriel Lima to thank for putting them ahead and then making another after Russia had equalised.

For 1999 winners Russia it was their second final defeat in a row, two days after ousting holders Spain, and for Aleksandr Fukin his third loss at this stage after 2005 and 2012.Finals top scorer Eder Lima threatened first, hitting the outside of the goal, as Russia with Vladislav Shayakhmetov well again and Pula back from a two-game ban settled first.

Italy soon were into their stride, Murilo making Gustavo save, and it was 1-0 in the seventh minute when a near-post Saad Assis corner was smashed in by captain Gabriel Lima, continuing his form from the semi-final defeat of Portugal.Russia, who had nine players with final experience to one Saad of Italy, also conceded first in their epic last-four dethroning of Spain.

Gustavo made sure there was not another when he denied Fortino at close range, and Eder Lima levelled at the midway point of the half with a brilliant turn and diagonal shot for his eighth goal of the finals, one that brought the sell-out 11,558 crowd to its feet.Gustavo was again alert to deny Merlim, and the No15's cross was turned wide by Fortino.

And soon after Murilo, a last-minute call-up for the finals, volleyed in a Gabriel Lima cross at the far post.

Eder Lima nearly repeated his first equaliser, but Stefano Mammarella tipped over.

And after the corner, Humberto Honorio sent Daniel Giasson clear to slip the ball past Gustavo for Italy's third.Gustavo was kept working early in the second half, fielding a cheeky Gabriel Lima back-heel and another effort from Giasson.

At the other end, Shayakhmetov volleyed wide while Saad broke and hit the outside of the post and Marco Ercolessi forced another Gustavo save.Italy were certainly keeping up the pressure despite their lead, something which gave Russia little time to settle and create chances themselves.

Robinho did sting the palms of Mammarella just before Nikolai Pereverzev donned the flying goalkeeper's jersey, and from distance Sergei Sergeev hit the crossbar.However, Cirilo then was sent off just as in the final two years ago receiving a second yellow card for a foul on Gabriel Lima.

Russia survived the two minutes down to four men, just, but although adidas Golden Shoe winner Eder Lima hit the crossbar, the UEFA Futsal EURO trophy was Italy's.