Greece and Finland became the first teams to qualify for the 2010 UEFA European Futsal Championship qualifying round after guaranteeing themselves first place in their preliminary round groups on Friday night.
In Malta, Greece followed up an opening 3-0 victory against Albania with a 5-0 defeat of Georgia to move into an unassailable position in Group C ahead of their final outing against mini-tournament hosts Malta on Sunday. With head-to-head results splitting teams who finish level on points the best Albania and Georgia, who also meet on Sunday, can hope for is second place and a possible berth in the next phase as one of the two best runners-up from the preliminary round.
Greece coach Stefanos Soilemes, whose team will go to Belgium from 19-22 March to face Belgium, Serbia and F.Y.R. Macedonia, told uefa.com: "We played brilliantly tonight in defence as we didn't want to concede. We want to win all three matches but I'll give some players who haven't had a chance to play a run-out against Malta. From now on our main objective is to concentrate on the next qualifying round."
In Group D, Finland scored twice without reply against Turkey to move on to six points after kicking off with a 4-2 success against Montenegro, who recovered to beat Israel 3-2 today. Finland will go to Portugal to face the hosts, Poland and Azerbaijan in the next stage but first look to maintain their 100 per cent record against Israel on Sunday, when Montenegro tackle Turkey targeting second spot.
Kazakhstan beat fellow Group A Matchday 1 winners Cyprus 3-0 to go three points clear at the top in Dublin though as hosts the Republic of Ireland defeated England 2-0, the pool is not settled. Ireland, making their senior competitive futsal debut, must beat Kazakhstan on Sunday and could need that to be a three-goal win if Cyprus overcome England.
Latvia in form
Latvia continue to fly at the top of Group B in Bulgaria, defeating Armenia 7-0 to take their tally to 12 goals without reply. However Bulgaria, held by Armenia on Thursday, overcame Estonia 4-0 and take on Latvia on Sunday knowing a win would ensure their progress. For full draw details click here. The finals are from 18-30 January 2010 in Hungary.
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