Iberia Star Tbilisi, Győri ETO FC and FC Litija made winning starts to the main round but in the game of the day English new boys Baku United FC drew 3-3 with experienced FK EP Chrudim.
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Last season's UEFA Futsal Cup finals hosts Iberia Star Tbilisi, Győri ETO FC and FC Litija all made winning starts to the main round but, in the game of the day, competition newcomers Baku United FC drew 3-3 with experienced Czech champions FK EP Chrudim.
Fixtures in these two groups continue tomorrow when three of the four other sections also begin. The top two in each main round group will join the four highest-seeded clubs in the elite round draw on Friday 18 October: Kairat, former winners MFK Dinamo and FC Barcelona, and 2011 runners-up Sporting Clube de Portugal
Iberia Star Tbilisi, the only team to enter all 13 editions of this competition, were given a tough test by preliminary round qualifiers FC Grand Pro Varna of Bulgaria. It took until the 31st minute for a much-changed Iberia to lead through Irakili Todua, and Vakhtangi Jvarashvili made it two before Jovan Stanković cut the deficit to 2-1 late on.
Hungarian hosts Győri ETO FC won 4-1 against a second side to emerge from the preliminary round, KMF Tango Sarajevo, who scored first through Nermin Jusić. By half-time it was 4-1: Zoltán Dróth levelled before, in a 54-second spell, Fábio Aguiar struck twice and Emir Džuderija put through his own goal. Ognjen Erić reduced the arrears late on for a Sarajevo squad who face Iberia Star tomorrow.
The first English outfit ever to get to this stage, Baku United FC have an experienced set of players and held an FK EP Chrudim team hoping to reach their seventh straight elite round. Chrudim – coached by former Spain player Daniel, who succeeded Baku coach Chema Jiménez at the Interviú Madrid helm for a spell in 2012 – went ahead early through the dangerous Dentinho. However, Baku's possession told though Rizvan Farzaliyev and Carlos Muñoz Delgado before Max equalised at the break. A Roman Mareš strike for the Czechs on 28 minutes was soon cancelled out by Jonathan Camara and Baku held on for a draw despite Arnaldo, a 2010 winner with SL Benfica, being sent off for a foul on Douglas. Marcelo stood out for Baku.
He will be suspended tomorrow against hosts AC Omonia Nicosia, who lost 6-1 to FC Litija of Slovenia. Litija ran in four goals in the last five minutes, Igor Osredkar and Danijel Pantič both getting their second goals as the Cypriot champions' heads dropped. Markos Ioannou had earlier equalised with a cheeky back-heel.
Reporter: John Leonidou