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Sporting give Araz Naxcivan a major scare

(September 28, 2010)

Mark Langtry headshot


SPORTING FINGAL EID almost caused on of the greatest upsets in European futsal history with a stunning performance against Azerbaijan champions Araz Nexcivan in the UEFA Futsal Cup.

The Azeri outfit were beaten semi-finalists last year and are a full-time outfit but the Irish amateurs gave them the shock of their lives in their opening group match in the main qualifying round in Romania.

Sporting actually led 4-2 early in the second half but a late collapse cost them a chance of history.

It started badly for the Irish side when they were punished for some sloppy passing to allow Konstantin Dushkevich open the scoring just 54 seconds into the tie.

Irish coach Junior Da Silva must have feared the worst when his compatriot Anderson extended Araz’s lead in the eighth minute.

But Fingal have proven themselves to be a side of no little quality themselves and had a golden spell that handed them control of the game either side of half-time.

Republic of Ireland futsal international skipper Mark Langtry fired them back in the tie in the 14th minute and five minutes later Brazilian marksman Hygo Cezar levelled the tie.

Fingal were in dreamland when Rodrigo de Melo gave them the lead 47 seconds before the end of the first half and things got even better when Cezar netted again five minutes into the second half.

Araz – many of whom also starred in Azerbaijan’s recent run to the UEFA Championships semi-finals – showed their quality in the final ten minutes to wrest control back from Fingal.

Luciano pulled one back in the 31st minute then two goals in 16 seconds from Felipe and Anderson put Araz back in front.

Fingal never recovered from that disappointment and further goals from Vitaliy Borisov with four minutes left and then Eder in the 38th minute gave the final score and unflattering 7-4 look.

“I can only be proud of my players to put on a performance like that against a full-time professional outfit,” said Fingal coach Da Silva.

“We must recover quickly now as we have to play the hosts City us Targu Mures who are another professional side but if we produce a similar display I will be very pleased.

“The experience and tranquillity of the Araz Naxcivan players made the difference in the last minutes. They worked the ball very well and had the opportunity to turn around and win the game.

“We could see that we can compete with clubs with extensive experience in Europe and in the global scenario. Now, what we will do is analyze our failures and prepare ourselves to reverse this in the next matches.”

Araz Naxcivan: Tveryankin; Felipe, Dushkevich, Farzaliyev, Borisov; Salyanski, Luciano, Anderson, Zeynalov, Eder, Gambarov.

Sporting Fingal EID: Fornal; de Melo, Cezar, Anderson Nunes, Isaias Lima; Carry, Langtry, Zambra, Melo, Leandro, Musteata, Neto.


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