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International Competitions - October 31, 2022 12:00UEFA UNDER 19 Futsal EURO 2022Performance analysis and top 5 players by InStatText by Vladimir Kravtsov (vladimir.kravtsov@instatsport.com) , Product Lead of InStat Futsal Project

UEFA Under-19 Futsal EURO 2022 hosted by Spain in September provided its viewers with many eye-catching moments and put on display a plethora of young talents that are undoubtedly worthy of the attention of the leading European clubs. In this article, we will analyse various aspects of team play during the tournament and take a look at the most outstanding performers.


U19 EURO: 2019 & 2022 Comparison

Compared to Futsal U19 EURO 2019, which took place in Riga, Latvia, there were 22 more goals scored this time, with a total of 99 goals.

A more in-depth review of the ways the goals were scored and how they compare to the goals at the previous EURO shows a few interesting points.

Let us look at InStat's data:






We can notice that the global trend towards an increased goalscoring efficiency of counter-attacks remained true here as well.

Only 10 such attacks produced goals in 2019, while the number all but tripled in 2022 with 29!

Playing with five outfield players is becoming less effective. The reasons behind that trend deserve their own article.

It is quite telling that the number of goals from other attack types remained the same or similar.

Another noteworthy team statistic is the number of shots on target, which increased from 355 in 2019 to 517 in 2022. Yet, the ratio of accurate shots is almost unchanged from the previous tournament: there were 38% shots on target at U19 EURO 2019 and 39% at U19 EURO 2022. This is primarily a consequence of the higher counter-attacking efficiency of each team. The participants of U19 EURO 2022 performed 258 counter-attacks in total, which is an astounding 21% higher than three years ago in Riga, where the number was 205.


U19 EURO 2022. Value of left-footed players

When speaking of the goals' character, it makes sense to look at the total stats of the quarter-finalists - Spain, Portugal, Ukraine, and Poland.






If we look at goalscoring shot charts of these teams, we will observe that the Spain national team has significant superiority in goals from long range. The chart shows 9 goals from 10 and more metres from the goal. Additionally, and very importantly, these goals are distributed more towards the wings.





Undoubtedly, the two finalists were able to diversify their attacking plays with the help of left-footed players (3 in each team) who were heavily involved in the attacks. Even if we account for the higher number of matches of Spain and Portugal compared to Poland and Ukraine, we will still see a noticeable difference in the table below. Also note how much of an impact the left-footed players of Spain had on their team's offensive game.


The tournament's best players

Goalkeepers

When it comes to goalkeepers, the two most noteworthy players are Poland's Dawid Lach, representing Dreman Opole, and Portugal's Tiago Alexandre Rodrigues, representing Modicus Sandim.

Dawid Lach had the highest number and percentage of saved shots with 88%, playing well both on the goal line and outside the penalty area as the last defender. Against Spain, he saved 4 shots from the distance of less than 6 metres.

Tiago Velho, in addition to his goalkeeping contributions, also participated in attacking plays. He ended up with the most accurate long (20+ metres) passes in the competition: 36 overall with a 77% accuracy rate.

Ukraine's and CLUST Kyiv's Mykola Huivan was another standout performer. He did an excellent job covering his teammates outside the penalty area, acting as the last defender. It is evident in his stat of 7 covers total.

And finally, another compelling goalkeeper to note is Portugal’s second goalkeeper, Leandro Rodrigues. Despite him only spending less than 10 minutes on the field for the duration of the EURO he managed to become of the most valuable players of the tournament. In the game against Italy, he did not allow the opponents to score two 10-meter penalties and one 6-meter penalty. And in the final game against Spain he managed to save one shot from outside the penalty area.

Leandro is a very interesting goalkeeper to follow. He was the main goalkeeper of the Portuguese Azemeis in the 1/8 final of the 2021-2022 Liga Plackard against Sporting. In those games he saved four shots from less than 6 meters and fourteen shots from 6 to 10 meters – quite a feat for such a young player in a game versus such a stellar opponent.






Outfield players. Defence

As for the defenders, it is hard to single out just one national team. In particular, the high tenacity of the Polish and Ukrainian defence should be noted.

Licznerski and Sendlewski’s duo successfully stopped attacks of Poland’s opponents time and time again. Poland’s captain Sendlewski was the player with the most ball pick-ups in the tournament (29).

Licznerski, a left-footed player, made the most tackles in the competition (23). In the semi-final his actions put an end to 9 promising attacks of Spain.

However, it is not enough to know that the tackles happened, it is important to know what happened afterwards.






While Poland's tackles often only temporarily hindered the attacks of their opponents, the tackles of Ukraine's No. 17, Kvasniy (a tall, 184 cm, universal player from Energia Lviv), frequently led to dangerous counter-attacks of his team. Kvasniy made 21 successful tackles, second most in the tournament. No. 13, Semenchenko, was also very helpful in starting Ukraine's attacks, leading the tournament with 34 interceptions.

Still, the best defensive players of U19 EURO 2022 according to their overall contribution were Spain's Adrian Tapias Villalba and team captain Rivera.

Rivera had the highest +/- in the competition (+17) and he made the most pick-ups in the opposition half (14). He was smart and efficient at fixing the mistakes of his partners and preventing the opponents from starting their attacks. In the final game he was exemplary at playing against the main pivot player of the Portuguese team, Diogo Furtado, having won four out of five challenges.

It’s interesting to note that despite all these strengths, Rivera is currently playing in Segunda, the second tier of Spanish futsal, representing Sala 10 Zaragoza. In October 2022 in the game versus Barcelona B he was man marking the top goal scorer of this Euro, Nico, not allowing him to undertake any dangerous actions. If you’d like to explore Rivera’s performance in more detail, you can find videos from all the games of this competition on the InStat Futsal platform.

Adrian Tapias Villalba finished U19 EURO with the second highest number of successful interceptions (32). His reliable performances helped make Spain's defence more solid.

Tapias is playing for Barcelona B. He's spent 31 minutes on the field in the 2022-23 season so far, having scored a goal, made an assist and won 6 challenges.

At U19 EURO 2022, he didn't commit a single foul (his controversial yellow card was awarded for unsportsmanlike behaviour), and at the same time achieved one of the best +/- scores with +12, while also making 2 assists.






Outfield players. Attack

Speaking of players who were particularly active in attacks and supported passing plays, one who deserves our first mention is Edmilson Kutchy, a player of AD Fundao and the Portugal national team.

This left-footed athletic Portuguese spent 289 minutes for Fundao in the 2021-22 season and became one of the starters for his team. He played 34 minutes against Sporting in the semi-final of the Portuguese First Division, winning 8 challenges and making 1 assist.

At U19 EURO he was among the leaders in assists with 3. Edmilson Kutchy initiated many offensive moves of his national team thanks to him quickly switching from defence to attack as well as his quality dribbling (6 successful dribbles). Kutchy's dribbling wasn't just for dribbling's sake, it was always for the benefit of his team's attack.

His quick transitions between attack and defence also allowed him to stop dangerous opposition moves. For example, he out an end to a promising attack of Spain in the final and cleared the ball away from an open goal after a shot by Spain's No. 14, Alex Garcia.






We have already discussed the impact of long shots for Spain. Let's look at the players who made the biggest contribution to the long shot stat.

The main long-range shooters for Spain were Juan Moreno and Alex Garcia.

The similarity of their stats is quite incredible. They each scored 3 goals with shots from more than 10 metres, and each of them also made 10 accurate key passes.

Goals of Alex Garcia played a huge role in the result achieved by the Spanish team. It was his long-distance goal in the semifinal game against Poland that equalized the game and his goal in the additional time that put Spain ahead. While it is impossible to say whether the result of any of these games would have been different had he not been there, but it is safe to say that his contribution definitely improved Spain’s chances.


Outfield players. Pivots

Not surprisingly, the team that used pivots the most during this tournament was Spain.

Jorge Carrasco, who has a very good starting speed, frequently moved from behind and into advantageous positions, finding good positions to make smart passes to his teammates. Moreover, Jorge was also effective as a target player, who, without the possibility to rely on sheer size, was using his technique to shield the ball.

In the 2022-23 season, Jorge Carrasco moved to Real Betis from Barcelona B. He scored his first goal against Inter Movistar after just 2 minutes on the field.

However, it was Nico who was the most prominent pivot of this U19 EURO. In addition to being the tournament's top scorer with 5 goals, he was also the leader in assists (4) and accurate key passes (14). What is interesting is that he is not just a tall player but also a left-footed player, both of which give him an advantage.






TOP-5 Players

Rarely an analysis of a competition is complete without a team of the tournament. Of course, identifying such a team is a highly subjective task so I encourage you to explore the stats of this U19 EURO by yourself using the InStat Futsal Scout platform. However, I can’t deny myself the pleasure of creating the team of the tournament as I see it.









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