After two exciting draws for the start of Group B of UEFA Futsal EURO 2022 on Thursday, the action will continue on Monday at Martina Plaza in Groningen, when Italy will face Slovenia and Finland will face Kazakhstan.
Let’s watch the games.
Where to watch the action: TV / streams
Italy v Slovenia (17:30 CET, Groningen)
The two-time Italian champions were finally relieved to come against debutant Finland with a 3-3 draw, with Cainan de Matos equalizing at 76 seconds to go. Slovenia, meanwhile, led 1-0, 2-1 and 4-2 against Kazakhstan and played excellently, but the match ended 4-4 – so the group remained open.
Slovenia lost experienced Gašper Vrhovec in a match in Kazakhstan due to a muscle problem, which means that Kristjan Čujec decided to retire from international retirement due to an injury he announced at the end of last year to replace his longtime teammate.
Even before Čujč’s call, Slovenian energy and tactical ingenuity were striking in the opening match, and captain Igor Osredkar will hope to repeat the heroism from four years ago in Ljubljana, when they brought back a 2: 1 victory against Italy with two famous goals. hosts through their group in front of the Azzurri.
As for Italian captain and goalkeeper Stefano Mammarelle, he will be looking for a different outcome after beating him against Finland with three long-range shots. “I still have fun playing like I did as a kid,” he said later, “but it wasn’t all that much fun today.”
Massimiliano Bellarte, Italian coach: “We have to win, we need to win to stay in the tournament. But because of the work we did before coming here, we deserve to win. We have to give everything to win because I think we deserve it … Slovenia is Finland’s various opponents , they defend themselves in a different way and they also attack in a different way. They have other weapons. “
Tomislav Horvat, selector of Slovenia: “The arrival of Čujc brings us quality. Everyone knows what this player can bring. The players are focused on the next match, we are ready for the match with Italy. The Italian team is aggressive and takes advantage of the mistakes of opponents. [Alex] Merlim is one of the three best players in the world. It deserves special attention. We are ready to stop him, but you can never stop him completely because he is one of the best. “
Kristjan Čujec, the new vocation of Slovenia: “I thought it was right that I came to help the national team, these guys with whom I played almost all my career.”
Key statistics: Slovenia beat Italy 3: 2 in the group stage in 2014, while the Azzurri won 2: 1 in 2003. Both times Italy lifted the trophy.
Finland v Kazakhstan (20:30 CET, Groningen)
For Finland, Italy might have given up their dream debut victory, but there was no dispute about the quality of their performance and especially the three goals. Once again, they will need all this excellence when they face the Kazakh side, which is considered to be the most likely of the 12 candidates to win the title yet to be able to win their first.
Newcomers will notice that Kazakhstan has shown some vulnerability against Slovenia, especially with Higuita, who was unusually trapped in possession, but Douglas Junior and Co have also proven their ability to bounce back in distress.
Kazakhstan will hope that Dauren Tursagulov will return after an injury that prevented him from playing in Slovenia, although Albert Akbalikov’s red card means that he has been suspended due to his first competitive match with Finland.
Mico Martic, coach of Finland: “Some members of the team were still getting in shape after the winter break [against Italy] and I believe we will play better. Our goal was to compete well with Italy. We succeeded and we are ready to play, because I believe we can play – better! “
Key statistics: Panu Autio scored his 101st goal for Finland on Thursday.