Ekaterinburg retain Russian crown
Saturday, May 8, 2010
Former UEFA Futsal Cup winners MFK Viz-Sinara Ekaterinburg will compete in the competition again next season after retaining the Russian title with an unbeaten 22-game campaign.
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MFK Viz-Sinara Ekaterinburg, who won the UEFA Futsal Cup at the first attempt in 2007/08, will be in the competition for the fourth consecutive year next season after clinching their second Russian Super League title.
Three points clear of MFK Tyumen going into the final day of the season, Ekaterinburg won 7-3 at MFK Dinamo-2 Moskva to retain the championship and complete the 22-game campaign – played with experimental 50-minute games – unbeaten. Artem Chudinov and Pavel Chistopolov put Viz in an early 2-0 lead and although Dinamo-2 pulled one back, Andrei Afanasyev and Chudinov struck just before the break and in the second half Aleksei Mokhov, Damir Khamadiyev and Konstantin Timoschenkov all found the target for Ekaterinburg. Tyumen also won and finished second, a point clear of the former European champions MFK Dinamo Moskva.
Ekaterinburg president Grigori Ivanov said: "Last year, many people said that we accidentally won the championship. But we all have proved that wrong. As they say, staying at the top is harder than getting there. But we did it and showed that at the moment we are the strongest team in the country." Having failed to make the UEFA Futsal Cup for the first time in three attempts this season, falling unbeaten on goal difference to eventual winners SL Benfica in the elite round, Viz join the new holders in the competition in 2010/11.
Elsewhere, the Spanish play-offs began this weekend and three-time UEFA Futsal Cup winners Interviú Madrid, beaten by Benfica in this season's decider, have a fight on their hands after losing the first match of their best-of-three quarter-final 4-3 on penalties at MRA Navarra FS after a goalless draw. Interviú, second behind ElPozo Murcia FS in the regular season, must win twice at home to Navarra next Saturday and Sunday to go through.