Golden El Dorado shone brightly in the Baltic Cup

Last weekend (May 25-26), the Baltic Minifootball 6v6 Cup tournament took place in Latvia’s capital, Riga. At the “LNK Sporta Parks” football complex, eight teams competed for the title of the strongest Baltic team – four from Lithuania, two from Latvia, and one debutant each from Poland and Ukraine.

This year, Lithuania teams dominated the Baltic MinifootballCup, as they took all three podium places. For the second time in the club’s history, the Baltic Cup was lifted by the Vilnius team “El Dorado” (they first achieved this in 2018), Kaunas’ FK “Smūgis” took second place, and the bronze medals were won by FSK “Radviliškis,” leaving the Latvians out of the top three.

The two-day Baltic Minifootball Cup tournament concluded on Sunday where the quarterfinals began. As expected, “El Dorado” easily overcame the quarterfinal barrier, defeating “OKS Kolejorz” 7-0. Meanwhile, FSK “Radviliškis” reached the semifinals only after a penalty shootout – the regular match time with FK “Nica/Otankimill” ended in a 1-1 draw, so the teams proceeded to penalties, where the “Radviliškis” goalkeeper shone, saving all three attempts from the opponents. For “Radviliškis,” one successful Socca penalty was enough to secure a ticket to the semifinals.

In other quarterfinal matches, the scenario was quite similar. On the first field, FK “Smūgis” defeated Ukraine’s “Steel” 7-1, but on the second field, FC “Hegelmann Minifootball” lost 0-1 to “Krupis City Tukums” and withdrew from the medal competition.

While some teams fought for the title, others continued to play for the final standings. Last year’s Baltic Cup winners FK “Nica/Otankimill” avenged their group stage loss to “Hegelmann” and took fifth place, while in the match of outsiders, “OKS Kolejorz” proved their superiority over Ukraine’s “Steel” with a score of 4-3, finishing seventh.

Meanwhile, the semifinals clearly showed which teams were most deserving of competing for the title. In the first semifinal, two quick goals laid a solid foundation for “El Dorado,” who won 4-1 against FSK “Radviliškis,” while in the second semifinal, FK “Smūgis” was head and shoulders above “Krupis City Tukums,” winning 5-1.

The Latvian team ultimately remained without medals – in the thrid place match, FSK “Radviliškis” defeated them 4-2, ensuring Lithuanian dominance in this year’s Baltic Cup.

These results restore a sort of “status quo,” as last year, it was the Latvian teams that claimed all three podium places in the Baltic Cup.

Returning to the final, FK “Smūgis” and “El Dorado” faced off for the title for the second time in two weeks. Just over a week ago, the teams competed for the Lithuanian Minifootball Cup, where “El Dorado” triumphed.

This time the match was once again intense – the first half ended scoreless, with defense dominating on the field, but at the beginning of the second half, a superb strike by Arturas Juchno put “El Dorado” ahead. Albertas Voskunovičius scored another goal, and “El Dorado” celebrated winning the Baltic Cup for the second time in their history.

The best player of the tournament was named “El Dorado” member Edvinas Mučinis, who received excellent prizes from the tournament sponsors.

“We came to Riga with one aim – to win the Baltic Cup. We have a really strong team, we trusted in our abilities, played our game, and finally, we have the trophy in our hands. We did what we came for. We won the Baltic Cup for the second time and continue to make history. Our next goal is to perform as well as possible in the Socca Champions League, which will take place this autumn on the island of Crete. See you there!” “El Dorado” coach Ričardas Čiepa shared is thaughts after the tournament.


Final team standings in the 2024 Baltic Cup:

1st place – FK “El Dorado” (Vilnius, Lithuania)

2nd place – FK “Smūgis” (Kaunas, Lithuania)

3rd place – FSK “Radviliškis” (Radviliškis, Lithuania)

4th place – “Krupis City Tukums” (Tukums, Latvia)

5th place – FK “Nica/Otankimill” (Nica, Latvia)

6th place – FC “Hegelmann Minifootball” (Kaunas, Lithuania)

7th place – “OKS Kolejorz” (Elk, Poland)

8th place – “Steel” (Ukraine)