FK EP Chrudim, FC Litija and – pipping Iberia Star Tblisi – KMF Tango Sarajevo joined Győri ETO FC, who had already booked their progress from the UEFA Futsal Cup main round on Wednesday, as the first two mini-tournaments finished while Slov-Matic Bratislava missed the chance to qualify early from Group 1.
Groups 3, 5 and 6 are completed on Saturday when three teams will join KMF Ekonomac Kragujevac, CF Eindhoven and Araz Naxçivan in qualifying from those pools. When all the groups are settled on Sunday, the top two 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 held a two-point lead after yesterday's openers and knew a win would ensure qualification but they lost 3-2 to Belarusian debutants MFK VitEn Vitebsk. Bratislava scored first through Dušan Rafaj on 12 minutes and after falling behind levelled just before the break when Gabriel Bartošek struck. Slov-Matic dominated the second half, hitting the woodwork three times as Rafaj stood out, but Aleksandr Chernik clinched victory with four minutes left from a seemingly impossible angle.
Hosts FK Nikars Riga, who drew with Vitebsk on Thursday, ended the hopes of Hamburg Panthers, the first German team to play in this round, and went top on goal difference ahead of the Belarusian champions as they won 4-2. Igors Avanesovs starred with a hat-trick, though Mohamed Labiadh played well for Hamburg as they grew in confidence late on. Nikars need only a point against Bratislava when this group ends the round on Sunday, by which stage Vitebsk will hope to also be through by avoiding defeat against Hamburg in the early game.
To keep their hopes alive, KMF Tango Sarajevo needed a good win and they powered to an 8-4 victory against eliminated FC Grand Pro Varna. They actually led 7-0 after an Anel Radmilović hat-trick but he put through his own goal in a late Varna fightback before Nermin Jusić did completed his own treble for Sarajevo in the last minute.
Now Sarajevo had to hope last season's finals hosts Iberia Star Tbilisi slipped up against already-qualified hosts Győri ETO FC. The home side had the better of the chances but Iberia Star, the only team to enter every edition of this competition since its 2001/02 launch, went ahead just before the half-hour as Irakli Todua struck. Yet Győr made sure of first place, and helped Sarajevo through, as they stormed back to win 3-1, Aleksandr Dzabiradze putting through an own goal and Tamás Lódi and Fábio Aguiar ending the Georgian champions' hopes.
Baku United FC of London, already the first English side to even reach the main round, needed only a point in the early game against Slovenia's FC Litija in Nicosia. Litija struck on two minutes through Dejan Simič as they came out firing but he then put through an own goal and Chus gave Baku the lead against the run of play. Litija upped the pressure in the second half with Danijel Pantič as flying goalkeeper and Simič struck again, this time at the right end. It was Damir Pertič who emerged as the hero, meeting Milivoje Simeunović's clever cross with a powerful header to win it 3-2 less than four minutes from time.
There was still a chance for Baku if FK EP Chrudim lost to eliminated hosts AC Omonia Nicosia but that was never on the cards. The Czech champions were on top throughout and Douglas dispossessed Manolis Manoli before easily beating Vassos Kyprianou to open the scoring. Dentinho made it 2-0 ten minutes later scoring from close range after being teed up by man of the match Lukáš Rešetár, though late in the half the Brazilian fell to the ground in agony after a scuffing a shot and played no further part. It was cruise control in the second half for Chrudim. Matěj Slovaček added a third before two late goals from Rešetár, each from his own half with flying keeper Tasos Skampylis stranded as they clinched first place ahead of Litija.
Reporters: Aleksei Binkovski & John Leonidou
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