Final Report on UEFA.com (Futsal Cup Elite Round)
New names join Interviú in futsal finals
Sunday 22 November 2009 Final Report on UEFA.com (Futsal Cup Elite Round)
UEFA Futsal Cup holders Interviú Madrid will be joined by Araz Naxçivan, SL Benfica and Luparense Calcio A5 in April’s finals as the quartet secured first place in their Elite round groups on a thrilling deciding day. The showpiece, in principle to be hosted by one of the four qualifiers, is scheduled for the last weekend in April, consisting of the semi-finals – for which the draw date is to be confirmed – and then the matches for first and third place two days later.
Italian champions Luparense, staging the mini-tournament, needed to defeat Spain’s El Pozo Murcia FS to reach their first finals and took a 26th-minute lead through Poncio Danieli. Although Kike swiftly equalised on the half-hour, Muñoz Calvo soon made it 2-1 to Luparense before Wilde levelled 62 seconds later. Barro converted a double penalty only for Wilde to instantly make it 3-3. Barro repeated the trick with three minutes left while Vampeta then doubled the lead, and even though Vinicius pulled one back, 2007/08 runners-up Murcia are out. Iberia 2003 Tbilisi, the only club to enter every edition of this competition, ended their Elite round debut in third place after an exciting 4-3 defeat of former champions Action 21 Charleroi, Roni scoring twice in the last six minutes.
Ahead of their decider, 2003/04 runners-up Benfica had a goals scored advantage of one over MFK Viz-Sinara Ekaterinburg, winners and runners-up over the last couple of seasons. Joel Queirós put Benfica ahead following a free-kick late in the first half and César Paulo added a second on 25 minutes. Konstantin Timoschenkov pulled one back not long after the half-hour and less than two minutes later Damir Khamadiev equalised, but Ekaterinburg could not get the winner they required to maintain their record of reaching the finals on all three of their European entries. Croatia’s MNK Potpićan 98 defeated Dutch side FC Marlène 2-1 for third place.
Interviú, the only three-time European champions, knew they could afford a single-goal defeat by Czech hosts FK Era-Pack Chrudim but qualified in style with a 5-1 win. Gabriel struck on 92 seconds and Tomáš Šluka’s seventh-minute own goal made it 2-0. Schumacher and Neto increased the lead early in the second half and Jordi Torrás made it five in the last minute before Radek Mikan’s consolation. Earlier FC Time Lviv had kept their hopes alive with a 5-0 defeat of KMN Puntar but in the end the win was only enough for second place ahead of Chrudim.
Kairat Almaty have been in the last two final tournaments but group hosts Araz confirmed the best run by an Azerbaijani club in any UEFA competition. Thiago Rodrigues and Vitaliy Borisov scored in the first nine minutes for Araz, who needed only a draw thanks to their superior goal difference. Tigrinho pulled one back and although Rodrigues restored the two-goal cushion, Katata and Guga scored in the last minute of the first half to send Kairat in level. However, it was Araz who moved ahead just past the half-hour through Santos’s double penalty and Kairat had Anderson sent off with seven minutes left as the home side emulated Azerbaijan’s qualification for January’s UEFA European Futsal Championship. Athina ’90 Athens finished third with a 3-0 win against the only team to progress this far from the Preliminary round, FK Nikars Riga.