FC Barcelona, Kairat Almaty and MFK Dinamo qualified for the UEFA Futsal Cup finals, staged in late April by one of the contenders, following the conclusion of three elite round groups on Saturday.
Barça, who won the competition at the first attempt last season, will defend their title in 2013 after ending the challenge of Group A hosts FC Litija in front of a packed hall in Lasko. Going into the game against the Slovenian amateurs level on points, the holders emerged with their third victory in as many matches courtesy of counterattack goals from Torras and Igor and a late Lozano penalty. Araz Naxçivan sealed third place with a 5-1 defeat of MNK Split.
Champions five years ago in Murcia, Dinamo enjoyed more success in south east Spain as they defeated Group C hosts Murcia FS 4-2. Needing a win to qualify at the expense of their opponents, the Russian side had goalkeeper Gustavo sent off for handling outside the penalty area after 18 minutes.
The three-time runners-up fell behind for the second occasion when Adri made it 2-1, but Faustino Pérez's team recovered the situation with three goals in as many second-half minutes from Aleksandr Fukin, Tatù and Nando. In the other match, Energy Lviv beat bottom-placed FK Nikars Riga 3-1.
The biggest winners of the day were Kairat, who put five goals without reply past Group B hosts and qualification rivals KMF Ekonomac Kragujevac to reach their fifth semi-final, Alexandre Moraes stealing the show with a hat-trick in Serbia. FK EP Chrudim signed off with a victory in the early fixture, triumphing 4-1 against Slov-Matic Bratislava.
The fourth finalists will be decided on Sunday. Group D hosts Iberia Star Tbilisi lead opponents SL Benfica on goal difference, with Győri ETO FC, two points adrift, able to pip both if they beat Luparense C/5 in the early game and the late match is a low-scoring draw.
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