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Kazakhstan surge as Czechs, Azerbaijan win

Kazakhstan prevailed 5-0 in their first leg in Bosnia and Herzegovina to move close to a debut finals while the Czech Republic and Azerbaijan also won and Hungary held Romania.

Kazakhstan celebrate scoring
Kazakhstan celebrate scoring ©Fedja Krvavac

Kazakhstan look on course for debut finals after 5-0 play-off first-leg away victory
The Czech Republic and Azerbaijan both win at home while Hungary hold Romania
All second legs next Tuesday; four winners join eight earlier qualifiers
Finals draw 12.00CET, Friday 2 October, Belgrade Town Hall
Final tournament 2–13 February, Belgrade Arena

Bosnia and Herzegovina 0-5 Kazakhstan
Kazakhstan, home of UEFA Futsal Cup holders Kairat Almaty, look almost certain to reach their debut final tournament. Bosnia and Herzegovina, who themselves were hoping to go one better than their last-gasp play-off loss to the Netherlands two years ago, fell behind to Dauren Nurgozhin within five minutes. Serik Zhamankulov doubled the lead and in the second half Douglas struck twice before Leo completed the scoring.

Romania line up before the game
Romania line up before the game©UEFA.com

Romania 2-2 Hungary
Hungary coach Sito Rivera will feel he has the edge over his former employers after they recovered from two down to draw in Buzau. All the goals came in the first four minutes of the second half, the opener through Ion Al-Ioani, who had already gone close in the first half. The outstanding Florin Matei almost immediately made it two but within 161 seconds it was 2-2 courtesy of István Gál and Zoltán Dróth. Al-Ioani missed an open goal to ensure no lead for Romania, who reached the last eight in 2010, 2012 and 2014.

Czech Republic 2-1 Belarus
The Czech Republic have not failed to qualify since 1999 but their progress to Serbia is far from certain next week after Belarus's effective counterattacking game, based around Aleksandr Olshevski, gave them every chance for the return. Aleksei Popov hit the bar in the first minute but the Czech Republic led through Michal Kovács's long-distance low shot. Then Aleksandr Chernik equalised, only to turn in an own goal from a Michal Mareš corner with six minutes left.

Czech Republic coach Tomáš Neumann said: "It was as tough as we expected – we needed better finishing – but this seems to have been our problem for a long time. The win is important, but we know we have to improve in the second leg significantly."

Azerbaijan 3-1 Slovakia
Slovakia have a tough task next Tuesday if they are to make their first finals following this defeat by an Azerbaijan side aiming for a fourth straight qualification. Amadeu's impressive opener was cancelled out by Anton Brunovský but, roared on by a passionate crowd in Baku, Vitaliy Borisov's strike on 33 minutes for Azerbaijan was added to soon after by a Peter Kozár own goal.

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