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Montesilvano survive as showdowns set

The elite round will conclude with three group deciders on Sunday after holders ASD Città di Montesilvano C/5 just avoided an exit and MFK Dinamo Moskva and FC Barcelona stayed top.

Aleksandr Fukin of Dinamo shoots for goal against Châtelineau
Aleksandr Fukin of Dinamo shoots for goal against Châtelineau ©Konstantin Molchanov

The UEFA Futsal Cup finals lineup will be decided on Sunday by three head-to-head elite round deciders following the second set of matches in elite round Groups A, B and D.

Group D in Padova will be decided by a showdown between two Italian teams. UEFA Futsal Cup holders ASD Città di Montesilvano C/5, held by Uragan Ivano-Frankovsk yesterday, were staring a likely exit in the face until Leandro Cuzzolino struck with only 12 seconds remaining to give them a 2-1 victory against Slov-Matic Bratislava.

However, Italian champions and group hosts Marca Futsal remain two points clear of their league rivals following a 4-2 win that ended the hopes of fellow European debutants Urugan. Jonas Pinto scored twice for the second night running prior to the break and Carlos Chilavert made it safe for Marca with two minutes left in a second half where both sides were unable to convert double penalties. Now Marca need only draw on Sunday to depose Montesilvano and keep up their ambitions of emulating their compatriots in winning this trophy at the first attempt.

In Group A, 2007 winners MFK Dinamo Moskva will face old rivals Kairat Almaty for qualification on Sunday after both secured second wins. Last year's third-placed side Kairat secured a 2-0 victory to end the hopes of Serbia's KMF Ekonomac Kragujevac, Andre and 2011 finals top scorer Leo Santana getting the goals.

Hosts Dinamo, meanwhile, followed their 9-1 rout of Kragujevac by defeating Belgian contenders Châtelineau 5-2, their victory set up by two first-half Aleksandr Fukin efforts. Top on goal difference, they now only need a draw against Kairat, who Dinamo beat in the 2006 semi-finals and 2008 third-place play-off but lost to for bronze in 2009.

FC Barcelona lead the way as Group C hosts thanks to a 4-0 win against Club Futsal Eindhoven that increased their goal tally on their debut European season to 39 from five games and finally ended the challenge of the Dutch preliminary round survivors, who put up a fine effort against the Spanish champions. That took Barcelona three points clear as Azerbaijan's Araz Naxçivan were beaten 4-3 in a hard-fought contest by FK EP Chrudim, bouncing back from losing 6-0 to Barcelona as two second-half Petr Vladyka goals proved the key to holding off a fightback by the 2010 bronze-medallists.

However, Barcelona's second win means Chrudim cannot qualify. Araz will need to beat the Spanish side on Sunday, and will have to do so by a four-goal margin if the Czech side defeat Eindhoven in the early game.

The first qualifiers will be decided on Saturday where Group C hosts Sporting Clube de Portugal, runners-up last season, require only a point against Iberia Star Tbilisi to go into the finals in late April. Should Sporting lose, Győri ETO FC could pip both them and Iberia with victory against City'US Târgu Mureş.

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