Barça 3-2 Manzanares: Semi-finals bound!

Barça 3-2 Manzanares: Semi-finals bound!

A penalty by Catela with seconds to go sees Jesús Velasco' side through to face Cartagena

The Barça futsal team are in the semi-finals. It wasn't easy but Jesús Velasco's side ultimately defeated Manzanares at the Palau Blaugrana (3-2) in the third game of the quarter-final play-off series on the road to the league title. Goals by Touré, Matheus and Catela - the latter scoring just 33 seconds from the final whistle from the penalty spot - proved decisive in a game that looked difficult after the visitors went 0-2 up.

Next up are Cartagena who eliminated Inter by two games to nil and another three game series is on the way. The first game will be on June 3 at 8.30pm CEST at the Palau Blaugrana, with the second away on June 6. Should a final decisive game be needed, it will be on June 9, also at the Palau.

Tough early blow

Barça started well, with Antonio having the first chance, followed by Matheus and Pito. However, Manzanares continued to show their effectiveness in this series and a well placed long shot by Cortés saw them take the lead (0-1, min 11).

Barça quickly reacted, Pito and André Coelho causing problems, but a solid defence, keeper Antonio Navarro and the woodwork were denying the home side's constant attacks. Another tough blow was to come before halftime too, as Manzanares scored another through a quick play (0-2, min 19).

Courageous comeback

After the break, Barça continued to push but were finding it hard to score. However, their perseverance got its reward as Pito recovered the ball, and Touré managed to break the Manzanares resistance (1-2, min 24).

What's more, with almost 12 minutes still to go, Juan Emilio saw a second yellow, and Barça made the most of their advantage to score through Matheus (2-2, min 29), when the Palau came alive to drive on the team.

The nerves were in full force from then on, with any mistake potentially decisive. Adolfo could have made it 3-2 with two minutes to go, but his shot shaved the post. Ultimately, a penalty on Pito by Antonio Navarro saw Catela send the Palau crowd wild and fire Barça into the semi-finals against Cartagena.



Barça: Dídac, Antonio, Matheus, Puigvert, Pito - starting five - Miquel Feixas (sg), André Coelho, Catela, Erick, Adolfo, Touré.

Manzanares: Antonio Navarro, Deivão, Cortés, Álvaro López, Juan Emilio - starting five - Gallo, Javi Alonso, Daniel, Raúl Campos, Antoñito, Javi Bule, Pedro.

Goals: 0-1, Cortés (min 11). 0-2, Javi Alonso (min 19). 1-2, Touré (min 24). 2-2, Matheus (min 29). 3-2, Catela (p) (min 40). 

Referees: Navarro Liza, Sarabia Eguiluz. Yellow cards for Matheus from Barça and Daniel and Álvaro López from Manzanares. ​Juan Emilio and Antonio Navarro both sent off for two yellow cards.

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