Javi Rodríguez levanta la Copa del Rey ganada en Antequera / FOTO: LNFS

Everyone anticipated a fantastic King’s Cup Final and the match lived up to expectations. The first and second place teams in the Liga clashed in a high-stakes match that ended with familiar outcome: with Barça Alusport lifting the King’s Cup trophy. ElPozo Murcia came out swinging at the start of the match. In the first play, the Murcianos attempted to surprise Cristian in goal with a long-range shot. It was the warning shot across Barça’s bow. Four minutes later, the next shot hit home. De Bali unleashed a shot from the right wing, the ball crashed into the woodwork and Esquerdinha, highest goal scorer of the LNFS, latched onto the rebound to open up the scoring.

The goal jolted Barça Alusport to action. The Catalans’ answer to the goal was one of the best displays of futsal the team had offered up all season. Marc Carmona started to rotate players onto the court and Lozano was quick to test Rafa with a couple of excellent shots. On 12 minutes, the ElPozo Murcia keeper committed a clear penalty on Wilde, and Javi Rodríguez converted the spot kick (1-1). From that point on, Barça Alusport roared forward. A shot from Saad, almost from half court, took a deflection off Lin and the ball found its way into the back of the net. Barça were not done, a spectacular three-way passing play between Lozano, Ari and Lin ended with Barça’s third goal. It was 1-3 at the half after 10 spectacular minutes from the Azulgranas.

Almost complete equality in the second half

However, at the start of the second half, a goal from Saúl after a shot from Miguelín brought back the excitement at the Pabellón Fernando Argüelles in Antequera. The two stand-out players on there court in the second half were Cristian and Rafa, both the keepers. Both the Barça and ElPozo goalkeepers showed off their best form as they kept their respective opponents at bay.

An overturned ball with seven minutes left on the clock allowed Gabriel, one of the Barça players that was doubtful for tonight’s final, to score the Catalans’ fourth goal. ElPozo Murcia, in response, sent in a keeper-player and Dani Salgado quickly brought his team within one of Barça. But there’s a reason Barça Alusport are the European champions of futsal, Sergi Lozano and Cristian both netted the decisive goals for Carmona’s team. The third title of the season had been secured.

Tonight’s victory also served to tip the scales in Barça’s favour. In the Liga, the teams finished both their games against each other with draws: 5-5 at the Palau Blaugrana and 4-4 in Murcia.

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