Spain runs into Portugal again, its black beast

At times, Spain seemed to be back on that September 27, of unfortunate memory, in Lithuania, in the quarterfinals of the World Cup. He fell against his black beast, after going 2-0 ahead, and the same thing happened again in Amsterdam (2-3). And although in the previous 32 duels between the National Team and Portugal there had only been three Portuguese victories, in recent years the current world champion and still, until Sunday, of Europe, had taken the measure of Fede Vidal’s after winning the final of Euro 2018 and the quarterfinals of the 2021 World Cup. He added another chapter in Amsterdam, and beat Spain with another great comeback to play for the title on Sunday against Russia (17:30), who beat Ukraine in the other semifinal.

The start of Vidal’s men was unbeatable. At 17 seconds, the National Team was already in command after Raúl Gómez’s goal after an assist from Lozano. The pivot, who is going from less to more this season, grows with the National Team. It is not for less. “Come on guys, everything is going to work out today,” said the coach, Fede Vidal, in the first half. He had reasons for this statement, because Portugal had up to three shots to the wood in the first half. Between Dídac, the defense, with Lozano and Ortiz on the floor on the goal line avoiding Zicky’s goal, the defending champion could not find a way to break down Dídac’s wall.

In the first half, the hallmarks of this National Team were seen for yet another day: high pressure and set pieces. This is how the second goal came, when Spain suffered the most. Foul by Mellado, near the center of the track, who assists Chino to execute his chinazo, from afar and surprising Sousa. When Spain was worse, it marked the second. Things turned out well, because nine minutes before the break the horn sounded: five fouls by Spain. There was a world left and the risk of a double penalty was high, and that was what Portugal was looking for with Zicky and Pany Varela sharing minutes. They didn’t get it.

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Zicky and deja vu from Lithuania

Adolfo, in a more classic soccer move, almost scored with a header from a corner kick. It would have been the icing on the cake, because Portugal, after 33 shots, did not understand that their goal score was still zero. You can’t give up on a champion of everything. Spain itself was aware that in the last World Cup, just four months ago, it also experienced a similar afternoon. In the second half, and with the passing of the mimutos, Vidal’s men lasted less on the ball, with shorter possessions, but time passed and, despite the fact that Portugal prowled the Spanish goal, nothing changed. Until eleven from the end, Ortiz’s own penalty came on Afonso Jesus. Bruno Coelho did not fail and started a new game.

Spain was not the same since then. Very sunken behind, more frightening, and Portugal continued to besiege Didac’s goal, which despite the defeat had a great game. But Zicky, the pivot who amazes world futsal at just 20 years old, has taken the measure to Spain. Nine from the end, the corpulent center took advantage of the fact that the Spain defense was very involved in its area, and also a lack of forcefulness, to define with a powerful shot. Tie, and Spain almost out of ideas, misplaced. Adolfo was close to the third, but it was a mirage. After a great first half, the National Team was blurred in the second, and after a perfectly executed counterattack, Zicky himself pushed to the far post with less than two minutes to go. Again Portugal, for the third consecutive tournament, the kryptonite of Spain, which since 2016 has been going through a drought of titles and will have to fight for third place against Ukraine (14:30). Now, it is of little consolation. Portugal is the current dominator.

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