KMF Leotar Trebinje are through to the main round of the UEFA Futsal Cup for the first time after holding off the bold challenge of SC Tornado Chisinau to win Group C with a 6-3 victory.
Trailing the Bosnian preliminary round mini-tournament hosts on goal difference, Tornado needed a victory to top the section and looked in charge when they took a 3-1 lead through Yevgen Frolov. Frolov, though, missed an 18th-minute penalty to increase the advantage and Leotar hit back, scoring three times in the last three minutes through two Milorad Cimirot goals either side of keeper Dušan Berak's long-distance strike. Leotar will face newcomers FC Barcelona, hosts FK Nikars Riga and preliminary round Group E winners ETO FC Györ of Hungary in main round Group 2.
Third place in Leotar's section was decided by a 15-goal thriller, as FC Encamp edged out Falcao FC Stockholm 8-7, Rojas Flores, Renato Motta and Marçal Raventós each scoring twice for the Andorran outfit.
The last of the mini-tournaments to begin, Group F, got under way with hosts KMF Zelazarec Skopje and Club Futsal Eindhoven making impressive starts. Eindhoven recovered from 3-1 down against Istanbul Üniversitesi SK, for whom Cem Keskin scored but was also sent off. Doubles from Najib El Allouchi and Adil Zouthane helped the Dutch outfit to a 7-3 triumph.
Victory was even more emphatic for Zelazarec, who inflicted a 9-1 defeat on Malta's Excess RP Bidnija, Zoran Leveski hitting a hat-trick and Ferid Agushi scoring twice. On Friday Eindhoven play Exceess and Zalazarec meet Istanbul with the current top two facing off on Sunday.
Bajo Pivljanin Pluzine finished runners-up in Group A after proving too strong for SD Croatia Berlin in an entertaining game in Perth. Bajo raced into a 6-1 half-time lead thanks to a Bojan Bajović hat-trick, and although their German opponents rallied after the break, the Montenegrin side won 9-6, aided by another Bajović effort, making him the competition's leading scorer on eight goals.
That pool had already been decided in favour of FK Ilves Tampere, who shared a 3-3 draw with hosts Perth Saltires, for whom Sean Fergus struck a last-gasp equaliser to earn the Scottish side their first point of the tournament. The Finnish club will take on Italy's Marca Futsal, Romanian hosts City 'US Târgu Mures and MNK Split in main round Group 5 next month.
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