Dinamo prevail in inaugural final four
For its sixth season the UEFA Futsal Cup was relaunched with the competition to conclude with a one-venue final four event won by MFK Dinamo.
Article top media content
For its sixth season the UEFA Futsal Cup was relaunched with the competition to conclude with a one-venue final four event familiar from sports including basketball, broadcast live by Eurosport. And although the competition concluded in Spain, MFK Dinamo were to lift the trophy after two final defeats in successive seasons.
The 40-team tournament began with a 16-sided preliminary round, the four groups won by FC Adana Yerevan, Toligma Chisinau, Lithuania's FK Nafta Mažeikiai and Skövde AIK, a lower-division Swedish football side whose players switched to futsal in the winter with spectacular effect. All of those sides then fell in the Main round as 20 other teams came into the competition and the top two in the six groups went through, including 2005/06 semi-finalists Kairat Almaty and FC Shakhtar Donetsk.
Four teams – holders Boomerang Interviú, Spanish champions ElPozo Murcia FS, Dinamo and 2005 winners Action 21 Charleroi – gained byes to the Elite round. Only the group winners would enter the final and three of the pools went with seeding as neither Interviú nor Murcia dropped a point while Group B hosts Dinamo beat Sporting Clube de Portugal 5-0 and Romania's CIP Deva 9-0 before shooting into a 4-0 half-time against Shakhtar. Impressively the Ukrainian side came back to 4-4 but could not force the winner that would have taken them through. Charleroi, who had been briefly wound up in the summer and had a team very different from previous years, only just led Group C after two matchdays on goal difference from hosts Clearex Chorzów as both had four points. In a see-saw decider Clearex led 2-0 late in the first half and went 3-1 up with three minutes left only for Zico and André Vanderlei to pull Charleroi level and then take them through.
Murcia were awarded the final four event and in the semi-final draw, held after their league encounter with Interviú, the rivals were paired. That league game had ended 3-3 with a last-gasp Murcia goal and with five minutes left in this match ElPozo went 2-1 up as although Marquinho had cancelled out Kike's early goal, Vinicius Elías put the hosts ahead. However, less than two minutes from time Schumacher equalised and one second was left on the clock when Daniel secured a 3-2 win for holders Interviú. Earlier, second-half goals from Pavel Kobzar and former Charleroi player Kelson had given Dinamo a 3-1 victory against Action 21, who were to lose on penalties to Murcia in the third-place match.
Dinamo had avenged their 2005 final loss to Charleroi and now set about repeating that trick against 2006 winners Interviú, aided when Kelson struck on 13 minutes. In the 39th minute Neto equalised and again a late Interviú leveller was followed by a winner, only this time with just a few seconds left it was recent Dinamo signing Pula that decided the game in his team's favour, taking the cup out of Spain for only the second time in six editions.