EFBLU European Tour 7 returns to Antalya
6 November 2023 /
6 November 2023 /
|Romanian Naval Forces enjoyed a remarkable EFBLU debut and triumphed with the title at the EFBLU European Tour 7 / International Corporate Cup in the Turkish Mediterranean resort of Antalya!|
The future champions brought a number of very talented players from Bucharest, Constanța, Mangalia and Brăila, led by Andrei Crăciun, a player of the Romanian national futsal team and the future MVP of the tournament. However, they were not used to play with each other and started slowly, winning only one point from the first two group stage matches.
Interestingly, Romanian Naval Forces were defeated 1-4 by the Iranian team of HOSCO in the opening match of the tournament but beat the same rivals by 2-1 in the final to lift the big trophy.
The eventual tournament winners had to overcome a very tough challenge in the quarterfinals in order to go through to the next stage. Their game with TUSAŞ from the Turkish capital of Ankara ended 1-1 in regular time and an extremely dramatic penalty shoot-out of 36 penalties was needed to determine the semifinalist.
For the first time in history, a team from Iran participated in an EFBLU tournament and immediately reached the final. HOSCO, who usually play futsal in their homeland, showed some quality football on natural grass and won 4 of their 6 games to finish with the silver medals. Their tough defender Ehsan Bartia was very hard to beat and his strong performances brought him the award for best defender.
Our old Slovenian friends Luka Koper, who won EFBLU European Cup 5 in Slovenia in September, reached the medal zone again but had to settle with the bronze after losing 1-4 to HOSCO in the semifinals and beating 2-0 Jekpe-Jek from the Kazakhstan's capital of Astana in the small final. Traditionally, the attacking duo of Adnan Ahmetović and Marko Topić shone again.
It was great to have a Kazakh team at an EFBLU tournament for the first time and we are very happy that they travelled such a long distance to be with us in Antalya. Jekpe-Jek featured tough and motivated players who played solid defence and conceded only 1 goal in 3 group stage matches. It was not surprising that their brave shot-stopper Ruslan Saganolykov was later voted the best goalkeeper of the tournament.
The three teams representing the host country of Turkey - TUSAŞ, MAN and Kaptan Grup - did not manage to reach the semifinals but their players impressed with their fighting spirit and nice technical skills. Furthermore, Kaptan Grup from Istanbul put a special emphasis on fair-play and their attitude was rewarded with a special award.
Acopero from the Romanian capital of Bucharest were also with us at EFBLU European Tour 7 / International Corporate Cup and it was great to watch the joy with which they play football. Their players also made a huge contribution to the wonderful atmosphere at the tournament.
MVP: Andrei Crăciun (Romanian Naval Forces 🇷🇴)
Top goalscorer: Andrei Crăciun (Romanian Naval Forces 🇷🇴) - 11 goals
Best goalkeeper: Ruslan Saganolykov (Jekpe-Jek 🇰🇿)
Best defender: Ehsan Bartia (HOSCO 🇮🇷)
Best midfielder: Marko Topić (Luka Koper 🇸🇮)
Best forward: Adnan Ahmetović (Luka Koper 🇸🇮)
Best coach: Marian Dincă (Romanian Naval Forces 🇷🇴)
Fair-Play: Kaptan Grup 🇹🇷