Kairat Almaty are the third team through to the UEFA Futsal Cup final four from 24-26 April as they pipped Czech hosts FK Era-Pack Chrudim to first place in Elite round Group C after a dramatic finale in which the Kazakhstan representatives overcame a pair of two-goal deficits before winning 5-4.
Chrudim, who until this season had never progressed through one round in European competition, led the group at kick-off today on goal difference ahead of Kairat meaning all they needed was a draw at the Zimní Stadión against the 2005/06 semi-finalists. Michal Mareš put Chrudim into a ninth-minute lead but Rafael swiftly equalised. Roman Mareš made it 2-1 to Chrudim and Radek Mikan extended the lead before the break. Jadder Dantas pulled one back but Roman Mareš restored the two-goal cushion. Dantas again struck, but it was only in the last four minutes that Rafael equalised and Cacau scored a dramatic winner. In the early game, KMF Topsport Antwerpen came back from 5-2 down with three goals in a minute to draw with Slov-Matic Fofo Bratislava, but the Slovakian side finished third on goal difference.
Kairat join MFK Viz-Sinara Ekaterinburg and ElPozo Murcia FS in clinching their Elite round groups but one more space remains in the semi-finals. Holders MFK Dinamo Moskva will hope to fill it and began Group B in Italy today with an emphatic 10-1 win against Montenegro’s KMF Municipium Casino Pljevlja. Sirilo, Pavel Kobzar and Sergei Ivanov struck to put Dinamo in control at half-time. Kelson and Ivanov extended the lead before two quickfire Pelé strikes and Kelson then made it 8-0. Municipium pulled one back, but Kelson completed his hat-trick and Alexandre Rakhimov took the score into double figures. In the same group, hosts Luparense Calcio A5 led 2003/04 runners-up SL Benfica 2-0 at half-time through two goals from Carlos Montovanelli but the Portuguese team fought back for a draw thanks to an Arnaldo goal and Ricardinho's equaliser with three minutes left. On Friday the holders can qualify if they defeat Benfica and Luparense do not beat Municipium.
Murcia were already confirmed as Group A winners in Poland and last season's bronze-medallists celebrated with a 3-2 success against hosts Clearex Chorzów to finish on a perfect record. The Spanish champions' coach Duda left out several key players but his team led on six minutes through Wilde, and although Andrzej Szłapa equalised, Vinicius made it 2-1 at the break. Wilde extended the lead with his seventh goal of the mini-tournament to ensure Krzysztof Filipczak's late effort was only a consolation. Croatia's HMNK Gospić beat KMF Marbo Beograd to second place as they gained a 3-0 victory against the Serbian representatives with a 26th-minute own goal by Željko Borojević and late strikes from Sergio and Patrik Drndić.
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