A record-breaking Ateitis CUP tournament attracted 47 teams from ten countries over the weekend. Over 160 games were played in three days.
“This tournament was a new challenge for us. For example, the first time the team did not leave Italy was because .. it was snowing there and the flight was cancelled. Imagine? 40 people planned to come with their parents but did not arrive.
Another moment, the crash on Friday completely stopped the city. One trip from the hotel (Green) to the LFF Stadium took almost an hour and a half when usually it takes 20 min. Everything is arranged in minutes, and no one can be late. Still, somehow we managed.
As for the tournament itself, it has been one of the strongest in the entire decade. Clubs like Dinamo Tbilisi (Sakartvel Champion), Dinamo Minsk (Belarus Champion) or one of the strongest Latvian teams of this age group in the RFS didn’t even get into the top ten. Why not get in? Because there were more good teams than the top ten, ”commented the main organizer of the tournament Dainius Gudaitis.
In the final of the tournament, Dinamo Kyiv youths defeated Minsk by 5-0, the same team eliminated Rotterdam Feyenoord youths in the semi-finals.
The players of the Dutch super club also kept pace with the mini-finals, where they lost 0: 1 to the winners of the third-place Riga’s Metta.
The Lithuanian team of “Ateitis” was the best among the Lithuanians, who took the first place in the group, lost to the future winners Dinamo Kyiv football players, Borisov BATE team and remained in the tournament at tenth place. Also among Lithuanian teams, the tournament was good for Kaunas Tauro youths, while Ateities 2010 team remained third among Lithuanian teams.
This weekend, the 2011 and 2013-born graduates will compete for the tournament’s top team title, followed by the U-9 and U-7 juniors a week later. 50 teams planning to compete this weekend and over 80 teams next weekend.
Last weekend’s Ateitis CUP tournament was big and emotional. This time, the 2003 and 2004 birth teams competed for the major trophies. In the senior group won TJK Legion Tallinn and in the junior group – FC Dynamo Brest.
As the oldest teams of our tournament competed, the level was the highest. It felt like this in the grandstands, where so many people came together to watch matches, sometimes even A-League matches in Lithuania visits less fans. It is not the first time TJK Legion has won our tournament, and Brest’s Dynamo is winning its second Ateitis CUP tournament this year. No other team can boast of such an achievement”, – said Dainius Gudaitis, the main organizer of the tournament.
The TJK Legion defeated FC Middlesbrough from England in the U-16 Tournament and in a final match a 1-0 victory over Moscow’s Rodina team was achieved.
“We are really pleased with this tournament, which is why we have been coming here for so many years. Without a doubt, winning this tournament is a huge recognition, ”said Legion coaches.
Third place was held by Middlesbrough Academy who defeated Vilnius FM, the highest performing Lithuanian team, in the small final 4-0.
In the U-15 group Dynamo Brest team defeated Lithuanian regional team 4-0 who was for the first time in the final. The latter celebrated four victories in five games before the finals.
“There is always a wish to take the first place, but objectively, Dynamo Brest played better and deservedly won. To grow and grow, we must take part in tournaments of this level. I believe that then the overall situation will change for the better. Another less fun thing was that our team player Naglis Paliušis had a big trauma – knee’s ligament trauma in the tournament. I want to say that Naglis is supported by the whole team, and we, in turn, make sure that his rehabilitation is of the highest standard. We will try our best to help Naglis return to the pitch even stronger, ”- said Andrius Velicka, head of the regional team. Midfielder Gvidas Gineitis has been recognized as the best midfielder in the whole tournament.
In the minor final, a series of penalties was needed, as there was no goal in the regular time in the Riga’s Metta – Moscow’s Rodina match. Out of ten penalty kicks, four shots were scored by goalkeepers, and another shot was inaccurate. 3 : 2 was triumphed by Latvian representatives.
U-10 teams will compete for the Ateitis CUP trophies this weekend. In total, as many as 48 teams registered for the tournament, including Dutch Rotterdam Feyenoord, Swedish Hammarby, Tbilisi Dinamo, Belarusian Borisov BATE and many more from ten countries.
Moscow’s Spartak football team (fourteen-year-old team) won the Ateitis CUP tournament and topped the list of Tbilisi’s Dinamo, Manchester City and Brest’s Dynamo this season. In the final, Spartak youth defeated Utrecht, the Dutch champion of this age group.
“We are happy to have chosen this tournament. This is a very different kind of football from here in Holland. We are dominated by technique and here we saw more by force football. We really appreciate the experience gained in the match against the Lithuanian national team, ” Utrecht coaches said.
For the first time in this age group, the Lithuanian regional team remained third. The team was prevented from reaching the finals by the aforementioned Utrecht representatives in the second stage after defeating Lithuanians 2:1. By the way, in the fight for the third place, Lithuanian representatives defeated Brest’s Dynamo peers after penalties. The latter were collected on the basis of the Belarusian national team.
“If we want to achieve something, we have to play that level games. Some guys entered the regional squad for the first time but showed that they deserve that invitation. Great atmosphere, tremendous desire and, most importantly, the fulfillment of what we demanded, led to this result, ” said one of the team coaches Ramūnas Radavičius.
U-15 and U-16 footballers will compete for the Ateitis CUP tournament’s Cups the coming weekend. Among the participants we will see Middlesbrough as well as teams from Finland, Ukraine, Russia, Belarus, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. The tournament will take place at the Sportima indoor stadium, LFF and Fan Stadiums.