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Montesilvano first in Almaty

Debutants ASD Città di Montesilvano C/5 claimed Italy's first UEFA Futsal Cup with victories against holders SL Benfica and Sporting Clube de Portugal in Almaty.
by Paul Saffer
Montesilvano first in Almaty
Montesilvano celebrate their final win ©Sportsfile

Montesilvano first in Almaty

Debutants ASD Città di Montesilvano C/5 claimed Italy's first UEFA Futsal Cup with victories against holders SL Benfica and Sporting Clube de Portugal in Almaty.

The tenth UEFA Futsal Cup proved a breakthrough year as for the first time a European final tournament was held in Kazakhstan – and ASD Città di Montesilvano C/5 followed SL Benfica's maiden Portuguese triumph in 2010 by adding Italy to a roll of honour that previously contained only Spain, Russia and Belgium.

Making their tournament debut, Montesilvano won all three main round games but found themselves in an elite round group hosted by 2008 winners MFK Viz-Sinara Ekaterinburg and also featuring the 2010 bronze-medallists Araz Naxçivan and sole preliminary round survivors AGBU Ararat Nicosia FC. Montesilvano upset the odds with a late 2-1 defeat of Ekaterinburg then drew 2-2 with Araz, having led twice, before seeing off AGBU Ararat 10-0 with five Cleyton Baptistella goals to top the group.

In the finals they were joined by Kairat Almaty – selected as hosts – Benfica and the holders' city rivals Sporting Clube de Portugal, who knocked out ElPozo Murcia FS to ensure that for the first time the decider would contain no club from either Spain or Russia. And the surprises did not stop there.

When the semi-final draw was made Kairat and Benfica were tipped to respectively beat Sporting and Montesilvano. But Sporting, having seen a two-goal lead slip with less than four minutes left, immediately replied through Caio Japa to beat Kairat 3-2, the home side's fourth loss in as many semi-final appearances. Then Montesilvano struck through Leandro Cuzzolino, Cristian Borruto and goalkeeper Stefano Mammarella after the break to win 3-0 against Benfica, for whom Joel Queirós missed a double penalty just before half-time.

Following an entertaining third-place play-off, where after a 3-3 draw Kairat beat Benfica 5-3 on penalties, Montesilvano took control of the final from the off. Hernan Garcias – who missed much of the season injured – struck after 59 seconds and after two Adriano Foglia goals, Fabricio Calderolli made it four at the break. Sporting had their moments in the first half and indeed the second, but Leandro Cuzzolino increased the lead from the spot on the half-hour and although Leitão scored twice late on, it merely ensured that Montesilvano's 5-2 margin of victory was not the biggest in UEFA Futsal Cup finals.

http://www.uefa.com/futsalcup/history/season=2011/index.html#montesilvano+first+almaty

 
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