MFK Viz-Sinara Ekaterinburg celebrated their progress to the UEFA Futsal Cup 'final four' with a 3-1 win against Hapoel Ironi Lezion to finish Elite round Group D with a perfect record, while CIP Deva clinched a consolatory second place against SK Energia.
The Russian hosts, in their first European mini-tournament, had already secured top spot with defeats of Ukraine's Energia and Romanian champions Deva. Hapoel knew they would come in fourth, but having advanced through the Preliminary and Main rounds they made a fine UEFA Futsal Cup bow and today's loss was a creditable end to their campaign.
Deva pip Energia
Deva, led by Romania coach Zoltán Jakab, needed a victory against Energia to repeat their finish in the 2006/07 Elite round, when they were second in a group behind a Russian team but ahead of Ukrainian representatives. Two late first-half goals from George Tomescu and Iacob Gabriel Molomfalean put Deva in control, and they were 4-0 up on 27 minutes thanks to two Gabriel Dobre efforts. Valeriy Legchanov struck twice to give Energia hope and with 44 seconds left Sergii Yakunin pulled it back to 4-3, yet Deva held on.
Two places to fill
Ekaterinburg and Spain's ElPozo Murcia FS are already confirmed in the final four from 24-26 April and a third qualifier will be known later on Thursday after Group C concludes, with Czech hosts FK Era-Pack Chrudim requiring a draw to pip Kairat Almaty. Group B begins in Italy on Thursday too, with holders MFK Dinamo Moskva meeting KMF Municipium Casino Pljevlja of Montenegro and hosts Luparense Calcio A5 up against 2003/04 runners-up SL Benfica.
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