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New boys Montesilvano shock holders Benfica

SL Benfica 0-3 ASD Città di Montesilvano C/5
Three second-half goals booked the tournament debutants a place in Sunday's final and ended the champions' reign.

ASD Città di Montesilvano C/5 confirmed their status as the surprise package of this UEFA Futsal Cup campaign as the tournament debutants ended the reign of European champions SL Benfica.

Leandro Cuzzolino's goal early in the second half of today's second semi-final gave Fulvio Colini's Italian titleholders a precious lead that they refused to surrender in the face of sustained Benfica pressure. Cristian Borruto and goalkeeper Stefano Mammarella confirmed the 3-0 victory late on as Paulo Fernandes's men were denied an all-Portuguese final against Sporting Clube de Portugal.

Joel Queirós, who had scored in triumph against Interviú Madrid in last season's showpiece, threatened more of the same on Benfica's return to the UEFA Futsal Cup finals spotlight. One effort whistled just over the crossbar, another arced narrowly wide, before Montesilvano keeper Mammarella pushed a third shot behind for a corner.

Although Borruto caused a moment's distress in the holders' defence, playing the ball across goal, no lurking team-mate could take advantage. The sting in the tail of a physical first half came when Joel had the opportunity to break the deadlock from a ten-metre penalty after Montesilvano's sixth foul. Yet, with Mammarella rushing off his line, he drove wide. Benfica might have had further cause for regret had Fabricio Calderolli not missed from close range following Cleyton Baptistella's cross.

Montesilvano began the second period on the front foot, too: Rogerio Da Silva raced upfield to release captain Marcio Forte, whose attempt was kept out by Vítor Hugo. Rogerio was then the brains behind Cuzzolino's opening goal, his back-heel taking out two Benfica defenders and enabling Cuzzolino to rifle in unimpeded.

The game continued to have an edge and several players entered the referee's notebook. Diece made a more positive contribution for the Eagles with a shot that ruffled the side netting, and the same player, from a free-kick, teed up Joel for an effort that Mammarella touched wide. The keeper's feet also came to the rescue from Gonçalo as Benfica chased an equaliser.

However, there would be no saving Benfica once Montesilvano doubled their advantage on the break. Borruto finished the job after Ricardo Caputo stole possession from the outgoing champions. The wound was further salted when Mammarella scored with an audacious lob over Sol, who had taken the place of custodian Hugo.