Châtelineau Futsal have sealed their place in the UEFA Futsal Cup elite round with a game to spare after opening their main round Group 4 campaign with wins against hosts Akademia FC Pniewy and FK EP Chrudim.
Belgian champions Châtelineau twice fell behind in their first assignment against Akademia Pniewy in Poznan on Saturday, with André cancelling out Lukasz Pieczynski goals on both occasions before Sebastiano Canaris had the final say just after 35 minutes. The hosts carved out a number of chances to earn a draw but could not prevent a 3-2 defeat.
Also on Saturday, Czech title holders Chrudim boosted their bid to reach the elite round for the fifth consecutive time by seeing off Norwegian debutants Vegakameratene 6-2. The first club from Norway to advance beyond the preliminary round, Vegakameratene managed to draw level after falling two goals behind, but they had no response in the second period as Chrudim notched up four goals in the space of five minutes – with six different scorers accounting for their final tally.
That made for an intriguing pair of matches on Sunday, and it was Châtelineau who emerged triumphant from the tussle of the opening-day victors. Chrudim managed to level the scores twice, via Roman Mareš and Cacau, but Zico and André then sealed a 4-2 triumph for the Belgian hopefuls.
In the day's other game, hosts Akademia Pniewy squandered a two-goal advantage to Vegakameratene but grabbed the winner seven seconds from time, captain Bartosz Łeszyk burying the rebound for his second strike of the game after Frane Despotović had hit the bar. The section concludes on Tuesday, when Chrudim and Akademia Pniewy meet to decide who will join Châtelineau in the elite round, while the group winners sign off against Vegakameratene.
The top two teams from each pool progress to the elite round draw on 11 October alongside automatic entrants ASD Città di Montesilvano C/5, Sporting Clube de Portugal, Kairat Almaty and Araz Naxçivan. Three of the five remaining main round mini-tournaments begin on Tuesday.
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