Sporting Fingal UEFA Futsal Cup
A brilliant performance from the Dubliners secured a remarkable 5-3 win for the FAI Futsal Cup winners over the host club in the Preliminary Round qualifying group in Kaunas.
This means that another positive result for Sporting against Kaghsi Yerevan today would see an Irish side into the main qualifying round of the UEFA Futsal Cup for the first time.
Sporting got off to a great start when Brazilian Hygo Cezar put them ahead in the fifth minute but this lead only lasted until the eighth minute when Tomas Nemanis levelled for the hosts.
Coached by Junior Da Silva, the Irish side reacted calmly when Justas Gulbinas put Nautara ahead in the 12th minute and they equalised five minutes later when Arturas Karmazinas was forced into an own goal.
Fingal were very impressive after the break and regained the lead in the 28th minute when Irish international Ross Zambra scored.
The fast paced nature of futsal could be best summed up by the 37th minute when Nemanis levelled again for Kaunas but just nine seconds later Hygo Cezar netted again.
Goalkeeper Marcin Fornal then became the hero for Fingal when he bagged a fifth goal in the final minute.
This is the fourth time an Irish club has played in the UEFA Futsal Cup and it was the third victory recorded at that level following wins for Shamrock Rovers and St Patrick's Athletic in 2007 and 2008 respectively.
But the crucial difference is that this victory in their opening fixture puts Fingal in control of their group
If Sporting can top their group they will go into the main qualifying round Group Three where last year's semi-finalists Araz Nexcivan of Azerbaijan, Latvia's FK Nikars Riga and hosts City US Targu Mures of Romania wait.
"This result is a fantastic achievement for everybody involved in futsal in Ireland," FAI Futsal co-ordinator Derek O'Neill.
"Sporting Fingal EID were worthy winners of the FAI Futsal Cup and are in excellent form in the Emerald Futsal League and this result shows the level our clubs are capable of reaching on the higher stage.
"A lot of credit must go to their coach Junior and the players for this result and everybody involved in futsal in Ireland will be hoping they can go on and secure an historic place in the next round of the competition."
Sporting Fingal EID squad: Marcin Fornal; Anderson Nunes, Rodrigo De Melo, Hygo Cezar, Isaias Lima; Ian Carry, Ross Zambra, Paul Fetherston, Helio Neto, Leandro Maia, Sergiu Musteata, Junior Da Silva (Player-coach).