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Benfica, Slov-Matic among main round qualifiers

Benfica are through to the UEFA Futsal Cup elite round after the main round ended with Chrudim, Slov-Matic and high-scoring Ugra Yugorsk among those progressing.

Benfica, Slov-Matic among main round qualifiers
Benfica, Slov-Matic among main round qualifiers ©Slov-Matic Bratislava

Group winners: Ugra Yugorsk, Benfica, Pescara, Slov-Matic Bratislava, Chrudim, Lidselmash
Group runners-up: Kremlin Bicêtre United, Dobovec, Lokomotiv Kharkiv, Zelezarec Skopje, Halle-Gooik, Győr
Bye to elite round: Kairat Almaty (KAZ, holders), Inter FS (ESP), Tulpar Karagandy (KAZ), Ekonomac Kragujevac (SRB)
Elite round draw at 14.00CET on 14 October in Nyon.
• The four elite round group winners, to be decided between 10 and 15 November, will compete in the final tournament in late April, with the hosts picked from among them.

Main round summary

Group 1: Qualifiers - Ugra Yugorsk (RUS) and Kremlin Bicêtre (FRA)
Debutants Ugra Yugorsk made a sparkling impression with a dominant set of displays in Group 1, racking up no fewer than 28 goals in three games. They began by sweeping aside Kremlin Bicêtre United 5-0 in their tightest match, Vladislav Shayakhmetov scoring twice.

The Russian hopefuls then inflicted a 13-2 loss on fellow newcomers Georgians Tbilisi, Eder Lima helping himself to four goals, before ensuring a perfect record with a 10-3 defeat of APOEL that featured another three Eder Lima strikes.

As for Kremlin Bicêtre, they recovered from their initial setback to edge APOEL 4-3 – Chimel Vita Nzaka weighing in with a pair of goals – and they sealed second place in the section as Vita Nzaka added another two efforts to his tally in a 3-0 win against Tbilisi.

Group 2: Benfica (POR), Dobovec (SVN) 
2010 winners Benfica were too classy for the rest of Group 2 as they strung together a trio of wins to top the section in style while debutants Dobovec advance in second spot.

Fábio Cecílio scored three as the Portuguese club beat Sarejevo 8-2 in the opener and went one better with a 9-2 matchday two win against Varna with Alessandro Patias scoring four.

They were faced with a decider against Slovenian outfit Dobovec who saw off Varna 7-2 and Sarajevo 5-2, but the newboys met their match on the final day with the former winners coming out 6-1 victors.

Pescara (in blue) beat Târgu Mureş 8-3
Pescara (in blue) beat Târgu Mureş 8-3©Valics Lehel

Group 3: Pescara (ITA), Lokomotiv Kharkiv (UKR) 
Debutants Pescara matched their perfect preliminary round performance as they won three more times – scoring 24 times in the process – to top the section ahead of Lokomotiv Kharkiv. 

Târgu Mureş were the first to discover the quality of the Italian outfit as they were defeated 8-3 on the opening day before Rogerio Da Silva's treble helped Pescara defeat eventual runners-up Lokomotiv 5-1. Maximiliano Rescia matched the Brazilian with three in the final game as Hamburg were thumped 11-0.

Lokomotiv had started with a heavy 7-1 win of their own against the German side and then picked themselves up from their loss to Pescara to defeat Târgu Mureş 5-3 – Dmytro Sorokin scoring hat-trick – to seal second spot.

Group 4: Slov-Mativ Bratislava (SVK), Zelezarec Skopje (MKD) 
Slov-Matic reached the elite round for the sixth year running as they won all three games in Slovakia and will joined by Zelezarec, who won a final-day showdown by a single goal against Sievi.

Ladislav Mikita scored two as the eventual group winners beat Zelezarec 5-3 in the opener, while Peter Kozár was on target with a pair as Sievi were seen off 6-1 on matchday two. Marek Belaník then notched a hat-trick as Slov-Matic wrapped things up in style on the final day with an 8-1 demolition of Eindhoven.

Zelezarec recovered from their opening defeat to beat Eindhoven 6-3 with Taulant Ismaili scoring two, and they subsequently clinched the decider as Daniel's late goal snatched a 6-5 win against Sievi and with it second spot. 

Nikars' Igors Dacko tries his luck against Halle-Gooik
Nikars' Igors Dacko tries his luck against Halle-Gooik©FK Nikars Riga

Group 5: Chrudim (CZE), Halle-Gooik (BEL)
Chrudim progressed from the main round for the ninth year in succession after finishing above Halle-Gooik and Nikars Riga thanks to their head-to-head record against their rivals.

The Czech side began with a 4-2 loss to Halle-Gooik, Valentin Dujacquier hitting a hat-trick for the Belgian club, but they dusted themselves down and responded by seeing off Athina '90 6-0, player-coach Dentinho scoring twice.

That set them up for a decisive final meeting with hosts Nikars, who could afford to lose by no more than two goals following their own 4-1 success against Athina and a 6-4 victory against Halle-Gooik in which Maksims Seņs struck five times. Trailing 4-2 with the end approaching, Nikars looked safe – until Michal Kovács made it 5-2 with 22 seconds remaining.

Debutants Halle-Gooik finished runners-up in another impressive showing. They rounded off their main round duties by inflicting a third loss on Athina, Ahmed Sababti and Nicolas Trussart both scoring twice in an 8-1 demolition.

Group 6: Lidselmash (BLR), Győr (HUN) 
Lidselmash were the only team in the group that had not previously been beyond this round, but they banished that record with three victories. Their campaign had the ideal start with Aleksei Chekhovski netting a late winner against hosts Győr in a 4-3 success.

A comfortable win against Baku United followed before a textbook counterattacking display saw off Nacional 1-0, the match being settled in the 34th minute when Dmitri Goncharov's long-range drive crashed in off the upright to seal qualification.

Győr recovered from their opening defeat to go through with consecutive triumphs. A nail-biting 5-4 victory against Nacional, including two fierce long-range efforts from Juanra, reignited their campaign before they eased past point-less Baku United 5-1 in their final game, Michal Seidler and Juanra both striking twice.

Reporters:  Aleksei Binkovski, John Leonidou, Rok Šinkovc, Paul Zaharia, Stefan Lecca, Tomas Cuncik & Andy Clark