KMF Ekonomac Kragujevac, CF Eindhoven and Araz Naxçivan are through to the UEFA Futsal Cup elite round after wins on Thursday, but Marca Futsal have more to do in the wake of a dramatic draw.
Group 1 continues on Friday when Groups 2 and 4 will be completed, with three teams due to join Győri ETO FC in sealing progress. When all the groups are settled, the top two finishers in each main round section will enter the elite round draw on Friday 18 October, along with the four highest-seeded clubs: holders Kairat Almaty, former winners MFK Dinamo and FC Barcelona, and 2011 runners-up Sporting Clube de Portugal.
Slov-Matic Bratislava got off to a sensational start against Hamburg Panthers, with Dušan Rafaj scoring three times in a 14-1 win, and the scoreline would have been crueller still for the first German side to make it to this stage of the competition had it not been for a fine performance from goalkeeper Yalcin Ceylani. FK Nikars Riga, meanwhile, were held 3-3 by newcomers MFK VitEn Vitebsk, with the mini-tournament hosts equalising after taking off their goalkeeper Aigars Bondars, Jardel on target from close range in the 39th minute.
Former semi-finalists Marca Futsal could not complete their passage to the next stage as they were reeled in by Kazakhstan's Tulpar Karagandy, who made the best use of a flying goalkeeper as Douglas scored in the final second to earn them a second successive 2-2 draw. Sporting Clube de Paris are now second in the section, with their 37-year-old captain Betinho scoring five of their goals in a 6-4 victory against Lokomotiv Kharkiv.
KMF Ekonomac Kragujevac and CF Eindhoven both booked their place in the elite round draw with matchday two wins. Slobodan Rajčević scored a hat-trick as the Serbian side beat Vegakameratene 5-1, but the game was a better spectacle than the scoreline suggested. Eindhoven, meanwhile, were 5-4 winners against MNK Nacional Zagreb, with three-goal Iliass El Attabi coming close to upstaging the excellent Karim Bali, though their Croatian opponents kept the Dutch side on their toes with a goal in the closing stages.
Araz Naxçivan are sure of a top-two finish following their 3-1 success against Châtelineau Futsal; second half goals from Fabiano and Biro Jade made the difference, but Omar Rahou's effort with his heel for the Belgian side was very much the goal of the game. As for City'US Târgu Mureş, they are not yet safe despite a 7-6 success against Athina '90, who ended the game a man down following goalkeeper Dimitris Theofilou's dismissal. The Greek side went for broke after Bogdan Covaci made it 5-3 but could not quite salvage a draw to keep their elite round chances alive.
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