Latvia was the last to finish its futsal season in the Baltic countries. Even during the regular season skeptics argued that there would be no intrigue in it, and “Petrow” would defend its title easily. In fact everything turned out differently. Baltic Futsal Marketing sums up the results of the completed Latvian championship.
When the reigning champion “Petrow” won the first part of the season, getting away from the nearest pursuer by nine points, there was a popular opinion among fans that the play-offs would also be a cakewalk for the team from Jelgava. And really, the first two rounds were passed almost without any resistance – “Locomotive” from Daugavpils and “Nikars” were swept out of the way, but in the final a force majeure occurred that was very difficult to explain. FC RABA, the third-place winner in the regular season, not only won the gold medals, but it “dried up “ “Petrow” in the final series, winning all three matches ( 5:4, 3:2, 4:2). We are trying to get to the bottom of what happened with Maxim Sen’, a player of “Petrow” and national team of Latvia.
Maxim, you were the clear favorite on paper. What happened?
It seems to me, in the final series the RABA team was favored by the stars, as they say. In the first game we didn’t take many good opportunities, and their goalkeeper played at a high level, the fielders managed to realize their chances. In that game we were better, we had a total territorial advantage, but we couldn’t score our own goals. This result made its mark on the second match as well; I think we were a little burned out before the game and went into the match disorganized. It’s worth admitting that in the first half the rival outplayed us completely, they created a lot of chances and only thanks to our goalkeeper Igor Labud’ we conceded only once. In the second half we calmed down, leveled up the game both in content and score, but at the decisive moment the referee removed Dmitry Shamly and as a result of which we conceded a goal once again, and in the remaining time we didn’t manage to equalize the score.
Before the third match, which could be decisive, did you feel that RABA has a moral advantage?
Yes, we felt that they had a crazy mood for this game. Possibly they perceived that they are just a step away from the champion’s title, it strengthens their self-confidence. Moreover, many
RABA representatives have been waiting for this moment for a very long time. We started stiffly, conceded unwanted goals and there were very few chances of our own in the first half. We really wanted to come back to the game after a break, switching to a game with players changes, but it also didn’t give a result, although, in my opinion, our advantage in the second half was
overwhelming, and only the confident play of the goalkeeper saved the opponent from conceding.
The Championship ended on a minor note: you expected a completely different result. But could you highlight the positive moments?
From the positive I can mention the whole season until the final series. It was much brighter than the previous year. Our team lost only once and confidently won the regular season. In addition, we took part in the UEFA Champions League for the first time, where we lost only in extra time to the Champions of Slovakia. The only disappointing thing is that we didn’t manage to take the major step. The end of the season turned out not to be what we had imagined. This is probably the main negative moment.
Do you have any information about what “Petrow” will be like in the new season? Will not qualifying for the Champions League affect the formation of the team?
There is no special news so far. I think we need to relax mentally, evaluating the current situation. I guess there will be changes. After all, if the main goal cannot be achieved, it means that something should be changed. Something will be known soon.