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Luka Koper triumph at EFBLU European Cup 5

17 September 2023 /

After winning the bronze medals at EFBLU European Tour 6 in March, Slovenian powerhouse Luka Koper cruised through EFBLU European Cup 5 to lift the trophy in their homeland!

The tournament was organized by our Slovenian partner Poslovna nogometna liga in Slovenia's National Football Centre in Brdo pri Kranju on 16th-17th September 2023 and featured 6 teams from 4 countries - Luka Koper (Koper, Slovenia), Odelo (Prebold, Slovenia), Marmor Hotavlje (Hotavlje, Slovenia), Sportips (Bucharest, Romania), PKO Bank Polski (Warsaw, Poland) and Clube PT (Lisbon, Portugal).

The eventual champions warmed up in the group stage by scoring a total of 14 goals in the two games against Marmor Hotavlje (5-1) and PKO Bank Polski (9-4). They raised the bar in the phase of direct elimination and scored 14 goals against each of their next two rivals. First, Luka Koper defeated compatriots Odelo by 14-4 in the semi-finals and then proved too strong for Sportips by hitting 14 goals and conceding none in the final.

The prolific duo of Adnan Ahmetovič and Aleksander Milič was unstopable for their rivals as both forwards hit 15 and 12 goals in the title run, respectively. Interestingly, Ahmetovič became the top goalscorer of a second consecutive EFBLU tournament after finding the net 9 times at EFBLU European Tour 6 in the Bulgarian city of Plovdiv in March. Their teammate Salmedin Ibrič was very solid in the goal and was voted the best goalkeeper of the tournament.

The Romanian team of Sportips, who participated in their sixth consecutive EFBLU tournament, had to settle for the silver as they were not able to mount a serious challenge to the superior Luka Koper in the final. Their inspirational leader Ionuț-Marius Rizea, however, shone in the tournament and was later voted the MVP of EFBLU European Cup 5. This was the second EFBLU MVP award in his career after the one he won at EFBLU European Cup 4 in Bielsko-Biała (Poland) in August 2022.

PKO Bank Polski from the Polish capital of Warsaw made their record eighth EFBLU appearance and finished in the top three for the first time. They were very close of reaching the final but suffered a dramatic defeat on penalties at the hands of Sportips in the semi-finals. PKO Bank Polski bounced back in the game for the third place by defeating Odelo by 6-5 and grabbing the bronze medals

The sympathetic Portuguese team of Clube PT from Lisbon finished fifth and received the special Fair Play Award in recognition of the their exemplary behaviour on and off the pitch! Our Portuguese friends participated in the first EFBLU tournament in Kraków (Poland) in November 2017 and we were very happy to see them again after almost six years.

Marmor Hotavlje, the third team from Slovenia, came sixth as they did not manage to qualify from the group which featured eventual champions Luka Koper and bronze medalists PKO Bank Polski.

EFBLU European Cup 5 final standings:

1. Luka Koper (Koper, Slovenia)
2. Sportips (Bucharest, Romania)
3. PKO Bank Polski (Warsaw, Poland)
4. Odelo (Prebold, Slovenia)
5. Clube PT (Lisbon, Portugal)
6. Marmor Hotavlje (Hotavlje, Slovenia)

EFBLU European Cup 5 awards:

MVP: Ionuț-Marius Rizea (Sportips)
Top goalscorer: Adnan Ahmetovič (Luka Koper) - 15 goals
Best goalkeeper: Salmedin Ibrič (Luka Koper)

Fair Play Award: Clube PT (Portugal)