UEFA Futsal Cup holders Kairat Almaty and Araz Naxçivan won decisive games on Sunday to finish with perfect records in their elite round groups and qualify for next April’s finals.
Holders Kairat Almaty and Araz Naxçivan completed their progress to next April’s UEFA Futsal Cup finals after topping their respective elite round groups with three wins from three games.
Finals lineup: Araz Naxçivan (AZE), FC Barcelona (ESP), MFK Dinamo (RUS), Kairat Almaty (KAZ, holders)
The duo faced decisive encounters in the final instalment of elite round matches on Sunday and both came out on top to join 2012 winners FC Barcelona and MFK Dinamo in the four-team finals. In Kairat’s case, that meant seeing off fellow Kazakh hopefuls Tulpar Karagandy to win Group C, and they duly delivered in a commanding 7-1 success.
Leo put Kairat ahead after 12 minutes and Tulpar’s decision to withdraw their goalkeeper proved costly as they conceded twice more in the first half. Kairat then turned on the style after the break, but they did concede their first goal of the elite round as Alex struck for Tulpar. “Our desire to play in an attack-minded manner badly affected our game,” lamented the Karagandy side’s coach Amirzhan Mukanov afterwards.
His opposite number Cacau was able to reflect on an excellent five days of futsal, meanwhile, his team having defeated both MFK VitEn Vitebsk and KMF Tango Sarajevo 9-0, Leo firing a hat-trick in the first game and two goals in the second. Tulpar also overcame those clubs, beating Sarajevo 8-3 and Vitebsk 4-2, before the section back markers drew 4-4 in their final outing ahead of Kairat’s meeting with Tulpar. “It was a good warm-up before the decisive show, like in boxing,” said Vitebsk coach Yuri Poklad.
In Group D, Araz finished top on nine points thanks to a 6-3 triumph against closest rivals Sporting Clube de Portugal on the final day. Sporting required just a draw to finish at the head of the pool and responded quickly to Fabiano’s opener, before sending on Alex as a flying goalkeeper when 4-2 down. He reduced the deficit, yet Fabiano pounced on a pair of rebounds to complete a hat-trick and settle the outcome.
Before that, Araz likewise recorded wins against CF Eindhoven and Győri ETO FC, prevailing 6-3 and 5-0 respectively. As for Sporting, they had kicked off with 6-1 victories against both clubs, with Győr then overcoming Eindhoven 7-2 to finish third.
The hosts for April’s final tournament will be picked from among the four contenders next month.
FC Barcelona, 2012 winners, and MFK Dinamo, runners-up for the past two years, are through to next April’s UEFA Futsal Cup finals with perfect elite round records.
FC Barcelona, winners in 2012, and MFK Dinamo, runners-up for the past two years, secured their spots in next year’s UEFA Futsal Cup finals on Saturday.
Barcelona had won both of their opening two elite round Group A games, meaning FK EP Chrudim needed an unlikely four-goal win in their final-day meeting in order to qualify. It was Barcelona, however, who were 3-0 up by half-time thanks to two goals from Fernandão and one from Wilde. Though the mini-torunament hosts pulled one back through Max, Igor rubber-stamped victory for the Spanish outfit.
“The first and second goals secured our win, while the third one sealed our qualification,” said Barcelona coach Marc Carmona. “We knew it would be hard for Chrudim to come back from that. I really appreciate the positive atmosphere the whole tournament was played in; it was great to see the interest of the fans.”
Dinamo also progress to the April finals with a perfect record, concluding with a 6-2 victory against Slovenian champions FC Litija, who sprung a surprise when they started the match with a flying goalkeeper. The section hosts were still in the game at 1-1 at the interval, but Dinamo went through the gears in the second half and ultimately prevailed with ease.
Groups C and D will conclude on Sunday, with Kairat Almaty, Tulpar Karagandy, Sporting Clube de Portugal and Araz Naxçivan all on maximum points going into the final round of fixtures.
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.
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.
MFK Dinamo qualified for April’s UEFA Futsal Cup finals thanks to their second straight elite round victory on a day when holders Kairat Almaty opened their campaign with a 9-0 win.
Runners-up last season, MFK Dinamo have become the first team to qualify for the UEFA Futsal Cup finals in late April following their second victory in as many elite round matches, while Kairat Almaty started their title defence with a 9-0 win against MFK VitEn Vitebsk.
Cirilo and Pula were among those to find the net as Dinamo, who on Wednesday beat Slov-Matic Bratislava 7-1, scored five without reply against KMF Ekonomac Kragujevac. Bratislava overcame point-less FC Litija 4-3 in the other Group B game – Gabriel Bartošek completed his treble with 23 seconds left to clinch it for the Slovakian selection – meaning leaders Dinamo cannot be overtaken by either of the two teams immediately below them due to their superior head-to-head record.
Two of the players on target during Kairat’s 4-3 triumph over Dinamo in the 2013 showpiece, Leo Santana and Fumasa, each scored twice in a resounding Group C success that also featured a hat-trick from Leo. “We defeated a very good team,” said Kairat coach Cacau of Vitebsk.
In the same section, Kairat’s domestic rivals, Tulpar Karagandy, ran out 8-3 winners against KMF Tango Sarajevo, one of only two teams along with Vitebsk to progress from the preliminary round. Chingiz Yesenamanov struck three times for the Kazakh side, who squandered the lead on as many occasions in the first half before pulling away from their Bosnian opponents.
Like Dinamo, FC Barcelona also have six points. The 2012 winners overwhelmed City’US Târgu Mureş 10-1 thanks in part to a four-goal display from Wilde and will progress from Group A if they avoid defeat against the only side who can finish above them, FK EP Chrudim, in their last fixture. Czech mini-tournament hosts Chrudim lost 3-2 to Lokomotiv Kharkov. Chrudim’s Dentinho struck the woodwork from the second penalty mark with the score 1-1.
In Almada, Araz Naxçivan (6-3) and Group D hosts Sporting Clube de Portugal (6-1) were too strong for CF Eindhoven and Győri ETO FC respectively in their first outings. Déo was the star of the show for Sporting, setting up the first three goals and then rounding off the scoring late on.
Groups C and D continue on Friday and conclude on Sunday. Groups A and B draw to a close on Saturday.
FC Barcelona, FK EP Chrudim, MFK Dinamo and KMF Ekonomac Kragujevac emerged victorious on the opening evening of UEFA Futsal Cup elite round action.
FC Barcelona, FK EP Chrudim, MFK Dinamo and KMF Ekonomac Kragujevac all posted victories as the UEFA Futsal Cup elite round commenced on Wednesday.
Champions in 2012, Barcelona’s quest to wrestle back the trophy started with a comprehensive 6-1 defeat of Lokomotiv Kharkov. The Spanish outfit were wobbling when Mykola Bilotserkivets struck with just over a minute on the clock, before quickfire replies from Torras and Aicardo ensured a swift turnaround. Lin and Fernandão then registered either side of Dmytro Kameko’s own goal, with Igor landing the final blow.
Not to be denied a share of the limelight, Group A rivals Chrudim flexed their muscles with an eye-catching 9-1 triumph against City’US Târgu Mureş in Pardubice, forwards Max and Lukáš Rešetár both weighing in with doubles. “We knew they would play with a flying goalkeeper but we managed to cope well,” said Tomáš Koudelka, who rounded off the scoring in front of a crowd of 3,500.
In Group B, meanwhile, 2007 winners Dinamo dispatched Slov-Matic Bratislava 7-1 in Lasko, with Brazilian forward Fernandinho plundering an 18-minute treble. As for Serbian side Ekonomac, they came from behind to edge hosts FC Litija 4-2, keeper Miodrag Aksentijević making sure of the result on the stroke of full-time.
All eight elite round entrants are in action on Thursday including Group D hosts Sporting Clube de Portugal and Kairat Almaty, who begin the defence of their title in Group C against MFK VitEn Vitebsk.