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Holders Benfica learn elite round draw fate

Holders SL Benfica narrowly missed a Lisbon derby against Sporting Clube de Portugal and instead start their UEFA Futsal Cup campaign in Serbia after the elite round draw was made.

The draw results are displayed in Nyon
The draw results are displayed in Nyon ©UEFA.com

Holders SL Benfica will begin their UEFA Futsal Cup campaign in Serbia after the elite round draw was made in Nyon today.

The winners of the four one-venue mini-tournaments played between 20 and 28 November will progress to the finals in late April, to be hosted by one of the qualifiers. Benfica, who lifted the trophy for the first time on home soil last season, must get past hosts KMF Ekonomac Kragujevac, FC Time Lviv and MNK Nacional Zagreb to earn another shot at glory.

MFK Viz-Sinara Ekaterinburg, winners in 2008, were pipped to the finals by Benfica last term but this time are up against Araz Naxçivan, ASD Città Di Montesilvano C/5 and AGBU Ararat Nicosia FC – the only survivors from the preliminary round – in Group B.

The 2008 runners-up ElPozo Murcia FS were given a bye to this round along with AFC Kairat Almaty, Benfica and Ekaterinburg, while the other 12 teams came through the main round completed last week.

Elite round draw
Group A: SL Benfica (POR, holders), KMF Ekonomac Kragujevac (SRB)*, FC Time Lviv (UKR), MNK Nacional Zagreb (CRO)

Group B: MFK Viz-Sinara Ekaterinburg (RUS)*, Araz Naxçivan (AZE), ASD Città Di Montesilvano C/5 (ITA), AGBU Ararat Nicosia FC (CYP)

Group C: AFC Kairat Almaty (KAZ)*, Iberia Star Tbilisi (GEO), Akademia FC Pniewy (POL), Slov-Matic Bratislava (SVK)

Group D: ElPozo Murcia FS (ESP), Sporting Clube de Portugal (POR)*, FK EP Chrudim (CZE), City'us Târgu Mureş (ROU)

* denotes host club