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UEFA Futsal Champions League preliminary round report: Debutants progress, Ricardinho record

Four debutants are among the nine teams progressing from the preliminary round while Ricardinho made yet more tournament history.

Ricardinho made history as his new club Riga won all three games
Ricardinho made history as his new club Riga won all three games Ruga Futsal Club

Four debutants are among the nine teams progressing from the UEFA Futsal Champions League preliminary round while Ricardinho made yet more tournament history.

While holders Mallorca Palma Futsal and 22 other sides with the highest coefficients receive byes to October's main round, the other 31 teams started in the preliminary round. The eight group winners and the runner-up with the best record against the teams first and third in their group have progressed to main round Path B, for which the draw had already been made.

Among teams going through are European debutants AEL Limassol, Prishtina 01, Radnik Bijeljina and best runners-up Lubawa. Also topping their group were Riga Futsal Club, for who new signing Ricardinho – previously a winner with Benfica and Inter FS – scored six goals to take his career tally to 55, overtaking André Vanderlei, who had led the all-time table for nearly 17 years.

The main round leads to November and December's elite round, which will decide the four contenders for the knockout finals in May.

Through from preliminary round

AEL Limassol (CYP), Doukas (GRE), Lubawa (POL)*, Lučenec (SVK), Örebro (SWE), Prishtina 01 (KOS), Radnik Bijeljina (BIH), Riga Futsal Club (LVA), Titograd (MNE)

*Best runners-up

Preliminary round results

Preliminary round groups

  • Matches: 23–26 August
  • The eight group winners and the runner-up with the best record against the teams finishing first and third in their section progress to main round Path B

*Group hosts

Group A

Through to main round: Riga Futsal Club (LVA)*
Also in group: Araz Naxçivan (AZE), Jahn Regensburg (GER), Istanbul Şişli (TUR)

  • Previously known as Petro-w when making the main round last season, Riga did it again by beating former semi-finalists Araz 8-3 in the decider. Ricardinho, who had already become the third player to reach 50 career UEFA futsal club competition goals in their first game versus Jahn Regensburg, struck in the dying seconds against Araz to move to the new record of 55, one ahead of long-time leader André Vanderlei.

Group B

Through to main round: Örebro (SWE)
Also in group: Amigo Northwest (BUL)*, Diamant Linz (AUT), ASA Tel-Aviv Owls (ISR)

  • Örebro equalised three times to draw 3-3 with Amigo Northwest in the decider and pip them on goal difference to go through to the main round, just as on debut last season.

Group C

Through to main round: Titograd (MNE)*
Also in group: NV Georgians (GEO), Eindhoven (NED), Europa (GIB)

  • Titograd made it through the preliminary round at their seventh attempt, and are the first Montenegrin side in the main round since 2009/10.

Group D

Through to main round: Prishtina 01 (KOS), Lubawa (POL)*
Also in group: Utleira Idrettslag (NOR), Ísbjörninn (ISL)

  • Prishtina topped fellow debutants Lubawa on goal difference after a concluding 1-1 draw. However, Lubawa also progressed as best runners-up.

Group E

Through to main round: Lučenec (SVK)*
Also in group: Cosmos Tallinn (EST), PYF Saltires (SCO), Encamp (AND)

  • Igor Leovski equalised with 11 seconds left as Lučenec came back from 4-2 down just over two minutes from the end to hold Cosmos 4-4 and progress on goal difference. Cosmos end unbeaten but before Lučenec 's late recovery had been on course to be the first Estonian club ever to get through a round of UEFA futsal competition.

Group F

Through to main round: Doukas (GRE)*
Also in group: Blue Magic Dublin (IRL), Nistru Chişinău (MDA), Bloomsbury Futsal (ENG)

  • Doukas won all three games, confirming progress by defeating Blue Magic Dublin 7-2 to make it through a round for the first time in their six attempts (dating back to the inaugural 2001/02 edition). London club Bloomsbury were making their debut.

Group G

Through to main round: AEL Limassol (CYP)*
Also in group: Futsal Minerva (SUI), Fiorentino (SMR), Yerevan Futsal Club (ARM)

  • Fabricio Lima's hat-trick helped newcomers AEL defeated Minerva 5-1 in the group decider. Fiorentino and Yerevan finished with only the competition's seventh 0-0 draw in over 2,100 matches.

Group H

Through to main round: Radnik Bijeljina (BIH)
Also in group: Tirana Futsal (ALB)*, Sparta Belfast (NIR)
Withdrew: Cefn Druids (WAL)

  • Mirko Marinković scored eight in debutants Radnik's opening win against Sparta Belfast then added four more in the deciding defeat of Tirana. That meant he bettered his tally of 11 at this stage for Diamant Linz, when he ended as the overall competition top scorer for the season, and takes his career UEFA Futsal Champions League stats to five appearances, 23 goals. He may have a chance of emulating André Vanderlei, the only man to previously twice finish as sole outright top scorer for the whole season, Betinho having led once outright and once in shared first.
Ricardinho's UEFA futsal club competition highlights

Main round groups

Path A

  • Matches 24–29 October
  • The top three teams in each of the four groups proceed to the elite round

Group 1: Sporting Clube de Portugal (POR), Olmissum (CRO)*, Ayat (KAZ), HIT Kyiv (UKR)

Group 2: Barça (ESP), Sporting Anderlecht Futsal (BEL), Luxol St. Andrews Futsal (MLT), Loznica-Grad 2018 (SRB)*

Group 3: Mallorca Palma Futsal (ESP, holders)*, Kairat Almaty (KAZ), Haladás (HUN), Differdange 03 (LUX) 

Group 4: Benfica (POR), Dobovec (SVN)*, United Galati (ROU), Etoile Lavalloise (FRA)

Path B

  • Matches 24–29 October
  • The four group winners proceed to the elite round

Group 5: Futsal Dinamo (CRO)*, Titograd (MNE), Örebro (SWE), Lubawa (POL)

Group 6: Plzeň (CZE)*, Futsal Gentofte (DEN), Radnik Bijeljina (BIH), Riga Futsal Club (LVA)

Group 7: Kauno Žalgiris (LTU)*, Kampuksen Dynamo (FIN), AEL Limassol (CYP), Prishtina 01 (KOS)

Group 8: Città di Eboli (ITA)*, Stalitsa Minsk (BLR), Lučenec (SVK), Doukas (GRE)

*Group hosts


Main round: 24–29 October
Elite round draw: 2 November
Elite round: 28 November–3 December
Finals draw: TBC
Finals: 2 or 3 & 4 or 5 May

All dates subject to change

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