Barça Alusport will play in the Liga Final for the second consecutive year after qualifying for the title playoff by beating Inter Movistar in the second match of the semifinal series where the Azulgranas started off by losing 0-2
FCB Alusport, 7
Inter Movistar, 4
FCB Alusport: Cristian, Torras, Lin, Saad, Wilde –starting five-, Ari Santos, Lozano, Gabriel, Fernandao, Igor, Javi Rodríguez.
Inter Movistar: Juanjo, Tobe, Eka, Bateria, Mati –starting five-, Álvaro, Matamoros, Genário, Ortiz, Betao.
Goals: 0-1, Mati (3’); 0-2, Matamoros (6’); 1-2, Lozano (6’); 2-2, Gabriel (7’); 3-2, Torras (9’); 4-2, Javi Rodríguez (13’); 5-2 Wilde (14’); 5-3, Bateria (15’); 5-4 Eka (32’); 6-4, Ari Santos (32’); 7-4, Ari Santos (39’).
Referees: Moreno Reina and Ramos Marín.
This evening at the Palau Blaugrana, Barça Alusport and Inter Movistar wrote an ode to futsal. It was an epic match that, in the end, was won by Marc Carmona’s men. With the two wins over Inter, Barça will play in their second consecutive Liga final.
Amazing first half
The first 20 minutes could be summed up with one word: crazy. Inter were aware that they had to win in order to stay in the competition, and they came out with a solid defence and a poised offence. After only three minutes, the Madrid side opened up the scoring for the night. A good counterattack between Álvaro and Mati ended in a play that Cristian could do nothing to stop. Three minutes later, Inter scored their second goal - and a polemic goal it was. As Ari Santos was injured on the court, the all-greens didn’t send the ball out and they took advantage of their numeric superiority to double their lead thanks to a goal from Matamoros.
Barça’s devastating reaction
Inter Movistar were more incisive at the start of the game and Barça Alusport needed to mount a comeback to avoid a third and final game. Carmona’s men were jolted into action and they went for the kill. With little time to taste the 2-0 lead, Inter saw how their advantage was cut in half by Sergio Lozano’s right-footed powerful shot. Not a minute had gone by before Gabriel brought Barça level. Barça’s reaction was devastating, and the Catalans weren’t done. With Joe Ingles and Marcelinho Huertas - the stars of the match during Wednesday’s basketball match - in the stands, Barça Alusport rose to the occasion. On nine minutes Jordi Torras surprised Inter’s keeper with a long-range shot, and on 14 minutes Javi Rodríguez took advantage of a rebound to make it 4-2. Before the half, Wilde scored a beautiful goal that went in the upper 90 of Juanjo’s goal. Inter was forced into a risky situation, and they played with a keeper-player. Batería quickly made it 5-3 before the half was over.
Intensity drops, tension climbs
It was difficult for Barça and Inter to maintain their level of intensity in the second half. However, Inter went on the attack but they hit up against Barça’s defence, and especially Cristian, who was having a wonderful showing in the second half. Daniel Ibañes decided to play a keeper-player for the rest of the half. On 32 minutes, after a couple of great chances for Eka, Inter scored their fourth. Far from succumbing to the visiting side’s pressure, Barça Alusport quickly regained their 2-goal lead thanks to a missile-of-a-shot from Ari Santos. At the other end of the court Cristian kept on denying the Madrid side. Wilde, with two and a half minutes to go, could have scored Barça’s seventh but his shot hit the crossbar. Ari Santos, once again, stepped up to put the finishing touch on a crazy match with an absolute beauty of a goal - which he scored from his own half of the court. It was the definitive goal, Barça had beaten Inter by 7-4 and thus sealed their place in the final of the Liga.