FK Nautara Kaunas and Erebuni Yerevan are the latest sides through to the UEFA Futsal Cup Main round after Saturday's Preliminary round action.
Nautara, staging Group E in Lithuania, knew a point against KF Tirana would ensure they pipped the Albanian side and although a 3-1 lead was wiped out, Virmantas Lemežis's goal with five minutes left clinched a 4-3 victory for the Kaunas side, who take on Czech hosts FK Era-Pack Chrudim, Poland's Hurtapu Łęczyca and fellow Preliminary round winners FK Nikars Riga in Main round Group 4. Dragan Milovanovic's goal for Maltese side White Eagles FC 23 seconds from time gave them a 1-1 draw against Andorra's FC Madriu and third place.
Three teams still had hopes of progress in Group F in Austria, and Erebuni put themselves in pole position in the early game with a 7-0 defeat of eliminated Icelandic side Hvöt Blonduosi, Armen Gyulambaryan scoring five goals, including two penalties. That also made it impossible for hosts 1. FC Allstars Wiener Neustadt to progress, and although they led Asa Tel-Aviv 2-0, they ended up losing 6-3. However, that margin of victory was not enough for Asa, two short of what was needed to pip Erebuni on goal difference. The Armenian's side reward is a trip to Romania for Main round Group 6 against hosts CIP Deva, FC Iberia 2003 Tbilisi and Dutch club FC Marlène.
Golden Futsal Team of Espoo are in control of Group D after moving on to six points with a 6-4 defeat of England's Helvécia Futsal London, Panu Autio scoring four goals for the Finnish champions. Roubaix AFS of France, who had lost 6-4 to Helvécia on Thursday, bounced back by beating Scotland's Fair City Santos 4-0 to keep the group alive. Golden Futsal Team need only draw with Roubaix on Sunday to go through; the French side must win (and if it is by less than 6-4 hope Helvécia do not beat Santos), while the London club have to win and hope Roubaix defeat Golden by two goals to have any chance of progress.
Budva in position
In Saturday's other game, Montenegro Stars Budva moved to the top of the three-team Group G by beating Denmark's Futsal BGA 8-3 with a Bojan Bajović hat-trick. BGA defeated hosts KMF Zelezarec Skopje 5-3 on Friday; the only way the home side can deny Budva is with a four-goal defeat of the Montenegrin side on Sunday. The other pool will also finish then, SC Tornado Chisinau leading Bulgarian hosts MFC Varna on goal difference ahead of their Group A decider, aiming to join Nautara, Erebuni, Nikars and AC Omonia in winning through to the Main round in late September and early October.
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