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Kairat and Tulpar set for Sunday showdown

Kairat Almaty and Tulpar Karagandy won again in Group C with Sporting Clube de Portugal and Araz Naxçivan still perfect in Group D, setting up final-day deciders in both sections.

Vitebsk's Yuri Aleinikov chases Tulpar goalscorer Thales as the Kazakh side remain in contention to qualify
Vitebsk's Yuri Aleinikov chases Tulpar goalscorer Thales as the Kazakh side remain in contention to qualify ©Kanat Aldibekov

Kazakh rivals Kairat Almaty and Tulpar Karagandy will meet on Sunday in their last elite round Group C game to determine which of the teams will progress to the UEFA Futsal Cup finals in late April.

The sides both have six points, but it is Kairat who boast the better goal difference following their second successive 9-0 victory, this time against KMF Tango Sarajevo. Leo, the scorer of a hat-trick in the defeat of MFK VitEn Vitebsk less than 24 hours earlier, chipped in with another two goals as Cacau's men made light work of their Bosnian opponents in Almaty. "Our match against Tulpar will be like a derby between Barcelona and Real Madrid," said Cacau. "I wish to congratulate Kazakhstan futsal on the fact that two clubs from the country are competing for a spot in the finals."

Things were less serene for Tulpar. Last season's Kazakh runners-up and European debutants squeezed past Vitebsk 4-2, with five of the goals coming in the first 13 minutes. Leonid Shilovski reduced the Belarusian outfit's arrears to two with a quarter of an hour remaining but they could not cut their deficit further. "In the second half, we had to take some risks," said Vitebsk coach Yuri Poklad. "Yesterday we could do nothing with five field players, but tonight we were much better. However, Tulpar are stronger than us at present."

Group D will also be decided on the final day after Sporting Clube de Portugal and Araz Naxçivan won for the second time in Almada. Araz set the pace with a 5-0 stroll against Győri ETO FC - Fabiano on target twice - but their goal difference of plus eight was usurped by Sporting later in the evening. The hosts followed up their 6-1 quelling of Győr by dispatching CF Eindhoven by the same score to take control of the section. Four goals in as many minutes either side of the interval took the game away from the Dutch outfit to set up another Sunday decider.