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There were victories for clubs from the Republic of Ireland, Finland, Denmark, England and Hungary as three more UEFA Futsal Cup preliminary round groups began on Monday.
Among those commencing from the sole three-team section, Group A in Lithuania, and hosts FK Nautara Kaunas fell 5-3 to Ireland's Sporting Fingal SC, whose sister football club also made their continental debut this summer in the UEFA Europa League. Nautara led 2-1 until the 17th minute when captain Artūras Karmazinas put through an own goal and Ross Zambra and key man Hygo Cezar struck after the break to made it 4-2. Tomas Nemanis pulled one back but with Nautara pushing for an equaliser, Fingal goalkeeper Marcin Fornal shot into an empty net.
Fingal will qualify if they beat Armenia's FC Kaghsi Yerevan on Tuesday, otherwise the group will be decided the following day. Coach Junior da Silva told UEFA.com: "We have a good chance of improving by playing in tough tournaments like this one. For Ireland, futsal is a new sport and we are happy to see our young players playing in the UEFA Cup. Our task is not only to win the group, but generally to promote futsal in our country."
Group B is also underway, the first in this tournament to be played in Malta. Hosts ZC Excess Futsal fell 5-2 to Denmark's BK Glostrup Albertslund thanks to two late Kevin Jørgensen goals. BGA coach Christian Koustrup said: "I am very pleased with this first win. It could have gone either way, but we took our chances and scored the important goals." Earlier, FS Ilves Tampere defeated KF Tirana 3-1 with a fine team effort and the two Matchday 1 winners meet on Tuesday.
The early leaders of Group F are Hungarian hosts Győri ETO FC, who overcame MNK Croatia 97 Appenzell 6-3, the home side going five up in the first 12 minutes and Willian Neris claiming a hat-trick as the Swiss side rued two late missed double penalties. Helvécia Futsal London also got off the mark, beating Andorra's FC Encamp 4-2, the game tight until Willian Neubecker's late strike settled matters.
On Tuesday Helvécia play Appenzell and Győr face Encamp, while in Iceland Group G will be decided. Kremlin Bicêtre United are top on goal difference and face eliminated Vimmerby IF while second-placed Club Futsal Eindhoven face hosts FC Keflavík, themselves just a point adrift. Group C will also be completed but MNK Orlić Sarajevo are already through.
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