MINSK, 20 November (BelTA) – The Futsal Champions League elite round will kick off at the Minsk Sport Center Uruchye on 20 November. The Belarusian capital is hosting such high-level competitions for the first time, BelTA has learned.
The Belarusian champion Stalitsa Minsk will open against Ukraine's Kherson in Group D. The other match will feature Barca against Sparta Praha.
Stolitsa Minsk will then face Sparta Praha on 21 November and take on Barca on 23 November. This season the Minskers have already hosted the Champions League matches. In mid October Evgeny Osintsev's team placed first in preliminary round Group 7, defeating Hovocubo (the Netherlands) 9-1, Toulon Elite (France) 3-1, and Liburni (Kosovo) 1-1.
The other elite groups:
Group A: KPRF (Russia, hosts), Dobovec (Slovenia), Halle-Gooik (Belgium), Mostar SG (Bosnia and Herzegovina);
Group B: Tyumen (Russia, hosts), Sporting CP (Portugal, holders), Novo Vrijeme (Croatia), Ayat (Kazakhstan);
Group C: Kairat Almaty (Kazakhstan, hosts), Benfica (Portugal), Pesaro (Italy), Murcia FS (Spain).
The four winners of the elite round mini-tournaments play the semifinals in single-leg knockout matches. Belarus has never reached the finals before. Sporting CP is the defending champion that defeated Kairat Almaty 2-1 in the final.