Sporting Fingal SC and Kremlin Bicêtre United are the latest sides to secure their place in the UEFA Futsal Cup main round, although the two clubs achieved their common aim in very different circumstances.
Kremlin Bicêtre went into their final preliminary round Group G game locked on four points with Club Futsal Eindhoven, the French team just one strike better off on goal difference. Kremlin Bicêtre outfit were first to play at the Asvellir Arena in Hafnarfjördur and won 18-2 against Sweden's Vimmerby IF, with Chimel Vita Nzaka scoring eight times, taking his total in the section to 16 – a record at this stage.
The result meant Eindhoven needed at least a 17-goal margin of victory against section hosts FC Keflavík and although they did win emphatically, their 16-5 success was not enough to deprive Kremlin of top spot. They now meet 2004/05 champions Action 21 Charleroi, Serbian hosts KMF Ekonomac Kragujevac and Akademia FC Pniewy in main round Group 6.
Sporting Fingal had a much more straightforward task. Having already beaten Lithuanian hosts FK Nautara Kaunas on Monday in the only three-team group, they knew victory against FC Kaghsi Yerevan would make them the first Irish side to negotiate a round in UEFA futsal competition and they duly obliged with a 7-3 triumph, confirmed by three late goals including two from Hygo Cesar.
Junior Da Silva's team now progress to main round Group 3 against 2009/10 bronze-medallists Araz Naxçiva, FK Nikars Riga and Romanian hosts City US Târgu Mureş. The coach told UEFA.com: "For my young players it was a fantastic experience. Our team have only played together for 18 months. Of course, we have to do all it takes to get a result in Romania and try to win the group. When you win, you want to win even more in future."
Already through before today's Group C deciders were MNK Orlić Sarajevo, who finished in style with an 11-1 win against Perth Saltires.Assistant coach Dženan Muminović said: "We came here with the highest ambitions and we proved that throughout the tournament. We have in our team four great players, but the others showed they have quality and I am satisfied how they played." SC Tornado Chisinau finished second after an exciting 7-6 defeat of hosts Stella Rossa Wien, Valeriu Baesu winning it in the last minute after the Austrian side had deployed a flying goalkeeper.
Group B, by contrast, will go down to the last matchday. FS Ilves Tampere went three points clear with a 2-1 defeat of BK Glostrup Albertslund while Maltese champions and pool hosts ZC Excess Futsal became the first side from their country to record three points in a UEFA futsal competition when they beat KF Tirana 4-2.
"I am so happy today," Excess coach Florin Anton said. "Not only for my team but this is a day to saviour for Maltese futsal - a first win in any UEFA European Futsal competition. I dedicate this win to everyone around our team." Ilves need a point against Excess on Thursday to top the group but a defeat would allow BGA to qualify by beating Tirana. Excess will be through if they win and BGA do not or if the hosts triumph by five goals.
In Group F there will also be a Thursday decider as Győri ETO FC meet Helvécia Futsal London with the two teams level on six points from two games. Helvécia overcame Switzerland's MNK Croatia 97 Appenzell 2-1 but Hungarian hosts Győr extended their goal-difference lead by beating FC Encamp of Andorra 10-0, William Neris scoring his second hat-trick in as many days.
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