Győri ETO FC are the first team through from the UEFA Futsal Cup main round as Baku United FC moved to within a point of another English first, Iberia Tbilisi were held and former semi-finalists Marca Futsal and Araz Naxçivan made good starts.
The three sections that began today, Group 3, 5 and 6, continue tomorrow when Group 1 also kicks off in Riga. The top two in each main round group will join the four highest-seeded clubs in the elite round draw on Friday 18 October: holders Kairat Almaty, former winners MFK Dinamo and FC Barcelona, and 2011 runners-up Sporting Clube de Portugal
In one of two groups to have commenced yesterday, KMF Tango Sarajevo kept their chances alive by getting off the mark with a creditable 0-0 draw against last season's finals hosts Iberia Star Tbilisi, the champions of Bosnia and Herzegovina having the majority of the opportunities.
That meant Hungarian hosts Győri ETO FC knew victory against FC Grand Pro Varna would book their progress and it was never in doubt as they eased to a 5-0 win that eliminates the Bulgarian side. Alvarito scored twice and Varna goalkeeper Kostadin Ivanov was dismissed on 18 minutes. On Friday, Iberia will need a point against Győr if Sarajevo, three points behind the Georgian team, beat Varna to give themselves hope of second place on goal difference.
Italy's Marca Futsal, whose only previous campaign ended with the 2011/12 bronze medal, overcame Sporting Club de Paris 4-0 with a dominant performance from the moment Fabián gave them a first-minute advantage.
Hosts Lokomotiv Kharkiv, with much of the squad and the same coach that won a UEFA Futsal EURO 2014 play-off for Ukraine in this arena last month, drew 2-2 with Tulpar Karagandy, making their debut having finished as Kazakhstan's runners-up last season behind Kairat. Twice Lokomotiv led, through Mykola Bilotserkivets and Dmytro Kameko, only for Tulpar to equalise within a minute via Douglas and Chingiz Yesenamanov. Tulpar had Dauren Nurgozhin sent off with less than five minutes left for a second bookable offence.
On the second day of action, FC Litija of Slovenia were knocked off top spot with an ultimately narrow 5-4 loss to FK EP Chrudim. The Czech champions largely bossed the game and were 3-1 up at the break; although Damir Pertič pulled one back, Douglas restored the two-goal cushion, lobbing flying goalkeeper Danijel Pantič from inside the Chrudim half. Borut Ručna struck only for Lukáš Rešetár to make it 5-3 in the 39th minute with his second goal. Ručna then turned in Pantič's free-kick with four seconds remaining but time was soon up.
London's Baku United FC, who held Chrudim 3-3 yesterday when missing the suspended Arnaldo, are also a point above the Slovenian side following a 1-0 success against hosts AC Omonia Nicosia, now out having previously succumbed 6-1 to Litija. Home goalkeeper Vassos Kyprianou made save after save but Omonia's Andrejs Aleksejevs had a shot cleared off the line and captain Manolis Manoli hit the bar. With six minutes to go, Baku's former Brazilian international Marcelo won it on the rebound after Rizvan Farzaliyev's powerful shot was parried.
On Friday Baku require just a draw against Litija to be the first team from their nation to make the elite round while Chrudim also need only a point when they face Omonia.
Serbian hosts KMF Ekonomac Kragujevac started brightly as they saw off Croatia's MNK Nacional Zagreb 4-1 thanks to goals following the interval from Alen Fetič, a stunning effort, Borko Surudžić and – after the Croatian side's scorer Korab Morina was sent off – Mladen Kocić, his second of the game.
Dutch champions CF Eindhoven beat Norway's Vegakameratene 3-0. Karim Bali broke the deadlock in the 26th minute and added another just before the half-hour, his powerful shooting decisive. Adem Koçak got the third in the last minute.
Araz Naxçivan, third in 2010, thrashed competition regulars Athina '90 5-1. Fabiano and Amadeu fired Araz two in front early on and although Sokratis Mourdoukoutas cut the deficit, Vitaliy Borisov quickly struck and repeated the feat after Biro Jade had found the target in the 31st minute for Alesio's men.
Home team City'US Târgu Mureş and Belgium's Châtelineau Futsal played out a thrilling 6-6 draw. Châtelineau led 4-0 before the quarter-hour, Omar Rahou netting the opening two in the first 92 seconds. Yet after an incredible flurry of goals in the last three minutes of the half, their advantage was 6-3, Târgu Mureş's use of a flying goalkeeper the key to getting back in contention. Early in the second period Dumitru Stoica and Ion Al-Ioani reduced arrears. And Al-Ioani sparked celebrations for the Romanian club 88 seconds from time when he converted a double penalty. The hugely impressive Stoica almost won it in the last minute, just unable to beat Joévin Durot.
Reporters: John Leonidou, Denis Orlov, Ivan Vjetrović & Stefan Lecca
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