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Sporting march on as Montesilvano stutter

Sporting Clube de Portugal are on the verge of the finals after beating Győri ETO FC but holders ASD Città di Montesilvano C/5 started their elite round campaign with a draw.

Marcelinho celebrates scoring for Sporting
Marcelinho celebrates scoring for Sporting ©Sporting Clube de Portugal

Sporting Clube de Portugal moved to the brink of the UEFA Futsal Cup finals by beating Győri ETO FC but the side that beat them in the decider last year ASD Città di Montesilvano C/5 started their elite round campaign with a draw.

Sporting and Győr won their Group C openers on Wednesday and the hosts' 3-1 victory in tonight's meeting leaves them requiring a draw against Iberia Star Tbilisi on Sunday to return to the finals. Last year's runners-up did the damage in the opening 12 minutes thanks to goals from Marcelino, Déo and Pedro Cary. Iberia Star kept their qualification hopes alive with a 7-3 success against City'US Târgu Mureş.

The three other sections also got under way, and holders ASD Città di Montesilvano C/5 could only draw 1-1 against debutants Uragan Ivano-Frankovsk in their Group D encounter. Petro Shoturma's effort was cancelled out by Fabricio Calderolli before Valentyn Tsvelykh's last-minute penalty was saved to deny the Ukrainian side a famous upset. Serie A1 champions Marca Futsal, who are hosting the group in Padova, top the section as two Jonas Pinto strikes pushed them past Slov-Matic Bratislava 3-1. The two Italian sides meet tomorrow.

The 2007 winners MFK Dinamo Moskva made a superb start to Group A as hosts, beating Serbian outfit KMF Ekonomac Kragujevac 9-1. Dinamo only led 2-1 at the break but by the end all but one of their ten outfield players had scored.

Dinamo coach Faustino Pérez said: "Almost all our players excelled. Nine different players scored and out goalkeeper [Aleksei] Popov saved a penalty having given it away."

Kairat Almaty, who finished third in the finals on home territory last year, beat Belgium's Châtelineau 3-2 in their opener with goals either side of half-time by Alexandre Moraes proving decisive. Châtelineau take on Dinamo tomorrow while Kairat meet Ekonomac.

In Group B, FC Barcelona continued to flourish in their debut European season as they dispatched FK EP Chrudim 6-0. Integral to the hosts' ascent was a hat-trick from Javi Rodríguez, despite an injury to Fernandao in the warm-up. Top seeds Araz Naxçivan, who were third in 2010, edged preliminary round survivors Club Futsal Eindhoven 5-3 with their triumph only confirmed in the dying seconds by Tota's second goal. The home side take on Eindhoven next while Araz face Chrudim.

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