Futsal Champions League elite round: Benfica, Barça, Sporting, Tyumen reach finals
Sunday, 5 December 2021
Three-time champions Barça, 2010 winners Benfica, holders Sporting CP and Tyumen topped their elite round groups.
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UEFA Futsal Champions League holders Sporting CP, city rivals Benfica, their fellow former winners Barça, and Russia's Tyumen topped their elite round groups to progress to the finals.
Through to finals
Barça, Benfica, Sporting CP (holders), Tyumen
Scheduled for 29 April and 1 May, the knockout finals (returning to a four-team format) will be staged at Arena Riga in Latvia.
Through to finals: Tyumen (hosts)
Also in group: ACCS Asnières Villeneuve 92, Kairat Almaty, Viten Orsha
Tyumen defeated ACCS 5-2 and came from behind to beat Viten Osha 3-2, meaning they went into Sunday's decider two points clear of Kairat, who were held 3-3 by the French contenders. Aiming to reach a record tenth finals, Kairat led Tyumen at half-time through Birzhan Orazov, but Bruno Taffy struck twice before Jovan Lazarević made certain of a second finals appearance in three years for the Russian outfit, though Albert Akbalikov did pull it back to 3-2 in the closing seconds.
Through to finals: Sporting CP (hosts)
Also in group: Sinara Ekaterinburg, Olmissum, Hovocubo
Sporting and 2007/08 champions Ekaterinburg both won their opening two games, but the home side had the goal-difference advantage ahead of their showdown thanks to an 8-2 victory against Hovocubo which featured a Diego Cavinato hat-trick. Waltinho gave Sporting the lead in the decider just past the half-hour and although Dmitri Prudnikov equalised 69 seconds later, it ended 1-1 to leave the Lions still dreaming of a third title in four years.
Through to finals: Barça
Also in group: SK Plzeň (hosts), Halle-Gooik, Dobovec
Three-time champions Barça opened with an 8-2 defeat of 2020/21 quarter-finalists Dobovec courtesy of a Ferrao hat-trick. They then defeated Halle-Gooik 8-4 before a 3-1 win against Plzeň secured top spot by a six-point margin and sealed their place in the finals for the ninth time in as many attempts over the course of 11 seasons.
Through to finals: Benfica (hosts)
Also in group: Haladás, Levante, Uragan Ivano-Frankivsk
Winners in 2009/10, Benfica progressed in front of their home fans in Lisbon, kicking off with an 8-3 defeat of the only survivors from the preliminary round, Haladás. Next up was a 4-0 victory against Uragan, Afonso Jesus scoring three, before Benfica held off a comeback from debutants Levante to win the decider 3-2. As in Group C, all the other contenders ended on three points.