After two minimal-margin victories and securing qualification to the semi-finals, Benfica finished the elite round of the Futsal Champions League in style, with a 10-1 win in Kosovo over Pristina, hosts of Group A.
The Reds were outmatched and, unsurprisingly, took the lead through Afonso Jesus, with Diego Nunes adding to the lead and Afonso taking the lead again before half-time. In the second half, Mario Silva’s side turned on the ‘machine’ and scored…seven goals. “The match brought an individual and collective commitment to the international dimension of Benfica. We left this competition with a sense of duty that we fulfilled with distinction,” emphasized the Reds coach. In the other groups, the most notable was the qualification of Barcelona, led by Eric and Andre Coelho, who defeated Riga, led by Ricardinho (3-2). Palma, the current European champion – who beat Sporting in the last final – also qualified despite a 2-2 draw with Heat Kiev.
Today, Sporting and Anderlecht face each other to determine who will return to the finals, in which the Lions defeated the Belgians (7-1) in the semi-finals last season. The three-time national champions only need to tie the game because they have the goal difference. “We have everything we need to win and we don’t need a draw,” said captain Joao Matos, returning from suspension. “It’s always good to play with two results, but the focus is on winning.”
Written by Francisco Guerra
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