Last Saturday, September 9th, in the town of Radviliškis, the curtain fell on the 2023 Lithuanian 7-a-side championship. The championship, featuring eight teams, concluded with the sixth stage, where each team had to play two matches.

A large crowd of fans gathered at Radviliškis Stadium for the final stage of the seventh Lithuanian Championship, and they were not disappointed as the results determined that this year’s strongest small-side football team was their favourite, FSK “Radviliškis.”

This championship was a debut for the Radviliškis team, and their debut was a resounding success. The legendary Lithuanian footballer Valdas Ivanauskas graced the event, and it was he who presented the champions’ trophy. The awards ceremony was also attended by the Mayor of Radviliškis District, Kazimieras Račkauskis.

Chance Not Missed

FSK “Radviliškis” entered the final stage with a 2-point advantage over Kaunas “Smūgis,” so the Radviliškis team couldn’t afford to make any mistakes.

As fate would have it, the first opponent for FSK “Radviliškis”, Kaunas “Hegelmann Minifootball,” did not show up in Radviliškis, and the host team was awarded a technical victory, leaving them with just one decisive match.

In that match, “Radviliškis” faced the players of Jurbarkas “Imsrė” who were competing for fourth place. However, loudly supported by their fans, FKS “Radviliškis” did not let this opportunity slip away. The team quickly scored the first goal and maintained control of the game until the end, ultimately winning 5-0.

After this victory, the team celebrated, and the fans chanted the name of FSK “Radviliškis” as the hosts celebrated their championship trophy.

“Perhaps the match looked easy based on the result, but we definitely felt nervous and had to prepare responsibly. The guys on the field did what we had agreed upon – no extraneous actions and the match was easier because of it. The enthusiastic support from the fans also contributed. This is a big victory for us, and we will definitely celebrate and savour the championship trophy,” said Mindaugas Urbonavičius, the manager of FSK “Radviliškis,” who was also named the best team manager of the year.

Watching opponents celebrate from the sidelines, another debutant in the championship, Kaunas “Smūgis,” finished in second place. It was only “Smūgis” that managed to defeat FSK “Radviliškis” this year, while “Radviliškis” won the other thirteen championship matches.

Meanwhile, in their first match on Saturday, “Smūgis” made sure that their opponents felt the pressure, defeating SC-FK “Akmenė” 8-2. The second match did not have any bearing on the outcome of the championship, as “Radviliškis” had already won the title. However, the Kaunas team congratulated their opponents and promised to come back stronger next year.

“Congratulations to the champions, they deserved the victory. We have managed to defeat them once, and that’s somewhat comforting. At the beginning of the season, we didn’t even think about silver medals, so this finish would have been fantastic, but during the season, we saw that we could compete. We fell a bit short this year, but we will come back stronger next year,” said Benas Buzevičius, a defender for the “Smūgis” team.

In third place, and for the first time in history, SC-FK “Akmenė” won the bronze medals. They secured the medals in the previous stage, so they just concluded their season in Radviliškis. Although they lost their first match 2-8 to “Smūgis,” they secured a convincing victory in the second match, defeating FK “Alytus” 9-3.

Battle for a Better Position in the Table

A fierce battle among the teams for positions 4-6 took place. Three teams aimed to finish in fourth place, but FC “Klaipėda City” managed to achieve that goal. In their first match, the Klaipėda team defeated “Alytus” 4-2, and in the second match, they held “Smūgis” to a 2-2 draw.

As a result, “Klaipėda City” edged out Kaunas “Arsenalas” by one point. “Arsenalas” had a chance to finish fourth, but in their first match, they lost 3-4 to Jurbarkas “Imsrė,” who finished in sixth place.

Interestingly, “Arsenalas” had a 3-0 lead at the beginning of the second half in that match, but “Imsrė” showed character, scored several beautiful goals, and ultimately turned the match in their favour, pushing “Arsenalas” to fifth place.

Former Champions’ Surrender

For the first time in the history of the Lithuanian 7-a-side Championships, the defending champions, Kaunas “Hegelmann Minifootball,” had such a poor title defence. This year, the team completely capitulated and finished the championship in last place with only 3 points.

Facing problems with assembling their roster, “Hegelmann Minifootball” did not even participate in two stages. One of them was the last stage, where the team suffered two technical losses, ending up in last place.

Second to last in the standings was another championship debutant, FK “Alytus”, who celebrated only two victories this year and collected 6 points.

2023 Lithuanian 7-a-side Championship Individual Awards:

Best Championship Player: Kristupas Petravičius (FSK “Radviliškis”)

Top Scorer of the Championship: Ignas Raštutis (FK “Smūgis”) – 24 goals

Best Team Manager: Mindaugas Urbonavičius (FKS “Radviliškis”)

Best Team Social Communication: FSK “Radviliškis”


You can see videos from the event on the below links: 

Most Beautiful Goals of the Sixth Stage: 

Awards Ceremony: