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Sporting and Győr earn opening wins

Sporting Clube de Portugal overcame City'US Târgu Mureş 5-3 while Győri ETO FC routed Iberia Star Tbilisi 9-2 as the UEFA Futsal Cup elite round commenced in Odivelas.

João Benedito, Buiu, Marcelo Silva and Leitão celebrate a Sporting goal
João Benedito, Buiu, Marcelo Silva and Leitão celebrate a Sporting goal ©Sporting Clube de Portugal

Sporting Clube de Portugal and Győri ETO FC emerged victorious on the opening evening of UEFA Futsal Cup elite round Group C action.

Mini-tournament hosts Sporting won their elite round group on home soil a year ago – beating City'US Târgu Mureş 4-1 in the process – and the Romanian side were quelled again this time around by a 5-3 scoreline. Last season's runners-up led 4-1 at the interval, with João Matos on target twice, but needed a late Leitão goal to secure the three points after Florin Ignat and Răzvan Radu had reduced arrears for the resilient Târgu Mureş.

Győr were more imperious against Iberia Star Tbilisi, who are the only ever-presents in all 11 seasons of competition but have never made the finals. The Hungarian hopefuls, defending stoutly having begun as underdogs and deadly on the counterattack, were 7-0 up after 30 minutes, with Elio Fabian and Tamás Lódi each contributing a double, before the Georgian side pulled two goals back. Ákos Harnisch and Ioan Al-Ioani's second strike completed the 9-2 success.

Fixtures continue on Thursday when Târgu Mureş play Iberia and Sporting take on Győr – each knowing a win, depending on the other result, could clinch a finals place. The other three elite round sections, Groups A, B and D, also begin. All four winners progress to the finals in late April.