Baltic futsal : «Zalgiris» first trophy is heroic

In Lithuania another futsal season ended which brought the expected result: Kaunas “Vytis” which changed its name to “Zalgiris” during the championship, became the champion for the fifth time in a row. Baltic Futsal Marketing sums up the season in Lithuania, and also pays its attention to Latvia, where the teams are still finishing the regular season.

Having taking the first place in the regular season, “Zalgiris” secured an exit to the semifinals directly, having passed the quarterfinals. The opponent of the reigning champions in the first play-offs matches became another BFL participant – “Gargzdu Pramogos”, which easily beat “Siauliai” in the ¼ finals (6:1 and 7:1). Definitely, “Zalgiris” was a clear favorite in this pair, but to the honor of the players from Gargzdai, they didn’t screw up and looked very decent in both meetings, avoiding defeats. The first semifinal match ended with “Zalgiris” victory with the score of 2:0, in the return match “Pramogos” tried to play a little more active for which they paid in the very beginning – “Zalgiris” led 3:0 by the middle of the first half. The players from Gargzdai managed to reduce the gap to minimum, but of course, it didn’t bring them any dividends. “Zalgiris” quietly achieved a comfortable victory with a score of 4:2 and reached the final.
The other semifinal pair was “Vip” from Mazheikai and “Vikingai” from Jonava. If the“vikings” made it to the semifinals thanks to the second place in the regular season skipping the quarterfinals, then “Vip” in a two-match confrontation literally crushed “Dainava” – 5:1 and 5:0. The first semifinal match was more like a shootout and ended with a score of 10:5 in favor of the“Vikings”, which made their chances for reaching the final extremely high – the main thing was just to play its game in the return match. However, the players from Jonava didn’t lock themselves in defense and defended their advantage, very confidently defeating “Vip” for the second time as well– 5:2.
Final confrontation might have been quite different, if “Vikingai” had been able to hold on the two-goal lead, which they achieved during the first match. Four minutes before the end of the meeting the “Vikings” led 2:0 on their court, anticipating a sensation, but Artur Juchno stepped in, making a double in just one minute. 2:2. “Zalgiris” saved an important draw for itself and it seemed that to finish it to the champion’s title is much easier. However, in the return match away the “Vikings” gave the favorite a real cold shower: 4:0 in their favor by the 13th minute, and “Zalgiris” literally hang over the edge. Nevertheless, the players from Kaunas managed a heroic come-back: regulation time ended with a score of 4:4, and in extra-time the favorites pressed on the tired opponent – 6:4. The undisputed favorite was one step away from failure, conceded in both final matches, but literally still snatched another championship title. “Gargzdu Pramogos” succeeded in the matches for the third place, twice confidently dealing with “Vip” 4:3 and 6:2.

In Latvia the most interesting thing has just began: only two rounds remain before the end of the regular season, and now it’s clear that its winner will be the BFL member – “Petrow”. After an unexpected home defeat from “Jekabpils” (1:3) at the end of February the reigning champions had a stretch of three wins in a row, including a confident winning against the same “Jekabpils” (6:2) in the away game. Obviously, “Petrow” is the unqualified favorite for the upcoming play-offs, nevertheless, in the relegation matches there is already a completely different game, and any mistake coupled with complacency may cost them the entire season.