Any of three teams could win elite round Group D on Sunday after SL Benfica ended the hopes of former semi-finalists Luparense C/5 and Győri ETO FC held Iberia Star Tbilisi.
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Three teams could win UEFA Futsal Cup elite round Group D on Sunday after the second set of games ended the hopes of former semi-finalists Luparense C/5.
In Thursday's openers, hosts Iberia Star Tbilisi beat Luparense 6-1 and Győri ETO FC came back from three behind to hold SL Benfica 3-3. Today Benfica twice trailed Luparense before winning 3-2 while similarly Iberia fell behind to Győr on two occasions but sealed a 2-2 draw.
Luparense made the best possible start after last night's disappointment, going ahead against Benfica on 39 seconds through Ricardo Caputo. Nene levelled in the 12th minute but Benfica – who beat Luparense 8-4 in the 2010 semi-finals on their way to lifting the trophy in Lisbon – saw a Joel Queirós penalty saved by Rodrigo Cavicchio early in the second half.
Giovanni Pedotti restored Luparense's advantage following Humberto Honorio's 29th-minute corner. However, Marinho equalised and with two and a half minutes left, Teka struck Benfica's winner to eliminate Luparense, meaning that there will be no Italian club in the finals for the first time since 2008/09.
Iberia now knew they could not qualify with a game to spare but Győr were well aware that defeat would end their hopes and Zoltán Dróth put them into a 7th-minute lead. Romario equalised within two minutes but it was 2-1 to the Hungarian champions at the break through Garrido Luque. Rafa levelled for Iberia midway through the second half and that was how it ended.
Iberia lead Sunday's opponents Benfica on goal difference with Győr, who face Luparense, two points behind. A positive result between the top two would take the winners into the finals in April, but a low-scoring draw could allow in Győr should they defeat Luparnese in the early match.
The other three groups conclude on Saturday and each go to a direct final-day decider. In Group A, Slovenian hosts FC Litija need to defeat holders FC Barcelona; KMF Ekonomac Kragujevac, staging Group B in Serbia, must beat Kairat Almaty while Murcia FS, at home in Group C, will qualify with a draw against 2007 winners MFK Dinamo, who have to gain maximum points.