UEFA Futsal EURO debutants Denmark and Sweden made dream starts in the preliminary round for the 2014 finals with 4-2 victories but Wales and Gibraltar found the going tougher.
Article top media content
UEFA Futsal EURO debutants Denmark and Sweden made dream starts in the preliminary round of qualifying for the 2014 finals with 4-2 victories but Wales and Gibraltar found the going tougher.
Playing in Group E in Andorra, Sweden trailed Israel twice following Adam Cohen efforts in either half yet responded in style with Kristian Legiec scoring two goals – his first levelled matters at the break, his second sealed the win in the final minute. The other game in the group ended with the Andorran hosts fending off a late rally from Estonia to triumph 4-3.
Denmark also came from behind to prevail on their debut as they downed Albania in Group F. Jacob Bonde Jensen, Rasmus Lucht and Rasmus Petersen all found the net in the space of five second-half minutes to effect the Danish turnaround. Their hosts Switzerland suffered a 5-0 reverse against Norway, for whom Christopher Moen claimed a double.
Group A began with resounding successes for home side France and Montenegro. Parfait Mendy grabbed a hat-trick as the French thrashed San Marino 12-0, while Montenegro overpowered Gibraltar – playing their first ever futsal international – 10-2 with key man Ilija Mugoša one of four players to score twice.
In Group D, Sokratis Mourdoukoutas was on target twice as Greece saw off newcomers Wales 4-1 while hosts Bulgaria were held to a goalless draw by Armenia. Finally, Georgia were 9-0 victors in Malta in the opening contest of the three-team Group B.
Main round draw
Group 1: Italy*, Hungary, Finland, Winner Group A
Group 2: Azerbaijan, Slovakia*, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Winner Group F
Group 3: Russia, Romania, Kazakhstan, Latvia*
Group 4: Spain*, Croatia, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Winner Group E
Group 5: Portugal, Serbia*, Poland, Winner Group D
Group 6: Czech Republic, Belarus, Netherlands*, Winner Group B
Group 7: Ukraine, Slovenia, Turkey*, Winner Group C