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The 13th European University Futsal Championship in Split is a testament to the power of unity and volunteerism, leaving a positive legacy for both sports and the local community. With 700 participants from 27 universities representing 17 European countries, the event is an unforgettable occasion, held in the heart of Split, Croatia, across two vibrant venues.
(Main picture source: EUSA)
Opening Ceremony Sets the Stage:
The championship commenced with a dazzling Opening Ceremony at the student dormitory “Dr. Franjo Tuđman” on Campus, graced by esteemed guests from public, academic, and sports life. The atmosphere was brimming with enthusiasm as students from 27 universities came together to compete in the spirit of sportsmanship.
Haris Pavletić, president of the Croatian Academic Sports Association (HASS) and vice-president of the European University Sports Association (EUSA), expressed his delight and pride as he witnessed the joyful gathering of young people in Split. He commended the Organizing Committee and all participating teams for elevating the prestige of student sports and enriching the championship. With 27 universities represented, the heartbeats of students from various corners of Europe unite in Split, where the rhythm of futsal will resonate over the next few days. Pavletić wished all teams good luck, confident that the event would offer another unforgettable experience for everyone involved.
Importance of Volunteers:
Volunteers play a crucial role in ensuring the success of the event, and about 70 dedicated individuals wearing red shirts warmly welcome participants and visitors alike. State Secretary Josip Pavić visited and praised the importance of volunteerism in driving sports at all levels, adding to the vibrant atmosphere of the championship.
State Secretary Pavić shared messages of encouragement and gratitude with the volunteers, stating, “It’s heartwarming to see so many dedicated individuals coming together to support this championship. Volunteerism plays a significant role in making such events a success and fostering a sense of community.”
Toni Gamulin, president of the Organizing Committee of the Championship, emphasized the significance of serving athletes and the vital role of volunteers in driving sports at all levels. He said, “Our volunteers are the heart and soul of this championship. Their passion and dedication make this event possible, and we are grateful for their invaluable contributions.”
A Stage Set for Excellence:
The meticulously organized championship, led by the University of Split and Split University Sports Association, promises an exceptional tournament. Representing EUSA, Tomasz Aftanski serves as the Technical Delegate, ensuring a seamless and trouble-free event for everyone involved.
Tomasz Aftanski, Technical Delegate of EUSA, said, “We are committed to providing a top-notch experience for all participants. The level of preparation and dedication from the organizing team and volunteers has been exceptional, and we look forward to a successful championship.”
Exciting Matches Unfold:
With the prestigious title of European Universities Futsal Champion defended by the University of Malaga and the University of Murcia, the matches have been nothing short of thrilling.
European University Futsal Day 1:
The Norwegian University of Science and Technology set the tone for an action-packed tournament with an impressive 8-1 victory against the University of Bristol. Sander Aabel Andreassen from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology expressed his delight with the team’s strong start, stating, “We trained hard for this championship, and it’s rewarding to see our efforts pay off. The team’s performance was outstanding, and we are excited for the challenges ahead.”
Sander Aabel Andreassen, Norwegian University of Science and Technology: “It was a good game, as we started off pretty strong! We had many different goal scorers, in fact not two goals were scored by the same player, which means a lot of players are off to a good start to the tournament. It was a brilliant experience, and we are excited to play Portugal in the next match!”
In another fiercely contested match, the University of Gdansk emerged triumphant with a close 3-2 win against the Eindhoven University of Technology, showcasing the fine margins that define futsal matches at this level.
The University of Jyvaskyla managed to edge out the Azerbaijan State Academy of Physical Education and Sport with a narrow 3-2 victory in a rollercoaster battle, securing their first win of the tournament.
The University of Zagreb exhibited impressive attacking prowess from the start and dominated the University of Mainz with a final scoreline of 4-1. Jure Jakovljević from the University of Zagreb commented, “Well, a very good match against a very good team, but I think we showed we were a slightly better team and the result proves it. Our best part was probably the beginning of the second half when we scored two goals which really turned the game in our favor.”
In a thrilling game between the Swiss Federal Institute of Sport Magglingen and the University of Reims Champagne Ardenne, the latter emerged victorious with a 6-5 win.
Finally, Bernays University of Applied Sciences displayed overwhelming superiority, locking horns with the Estonian Academy of Security Sciences. The former showcased exceptional skill and strategic play throughout the game, leaving a mark with a resounding 12-0 victory.
As the first day of the European Universities Futsal Championship in Split concluded, the stage was set for an action-packed tournament ahead. With impressive displays of talent and determination from all participating teams, the championship promises to be an exciting one!
European University Futsal Day 2 Showcases Extraordinary Talent:
The excitement continued on Day 2, with intense matches in the men’s and women’s divisions. The University of Zagreb displayed dominance with a 4-0 victory in the women’s division, while the University of Minho emerged victorious with a 4-1 win in the men’s division.
European University Futsal Day 3: Intense Competition on the Courts:
As the championship entered its third day, Sports Halls Gripe and Poljud came alive with fierce competition. In the women’s division, Rey Juan Carlos University (SPA) showcased their skills with a 6-3 victory over Polytechnic University of Hauts-de-France (FRA). University of Lisbon (POR) secured a close 3-2 win against University of Munster (GER), while National Pedagogical Dragomanov University (UKR) impressed with a 2-0 victory against University of Zagreb (CRO). However, the host team, University of Split, faced a tough challenge, falling short with a 1-2 loss to the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NOR).
In the men’s division, the University of Minho (POR) dominated the court with a 4-1 victory against University of Jyvaskyla (FIN). The French team from University of Reims Champagne Ardenne (FRA) displayed superiority, securing an 11-0 win against the Estonian Academy of Security Arts (EST). Azerbaijan State Academy of Physical Education and Sports (AZE) showed their prowess with a dominating 10-2 victory against University of Bristol (GBR). The Croatian team, University of Zagreb, continued their winning streak, triumphing with a 7-2 victory over Eindhoven University of Technology (NED).
Mariia Vaskovets, Ukrainian player: “So the match was good, strong, and interesting. We, as players, are happy with the result, and we hope the supporters had a good time too. Croatia [Zagreb] is a strong team, but we still won because we followed our coaches’ plan. We are waiting for the next match, and we are ready – we will fight to get maximum points and hopefully go through to the quarter-finals.”
European University Futsal Day 4: Quarterfinals Looming:
As the women’s group stage concluded, the quarterfinals brought more excitement. University of Munster (GER) secured a strong 7-0 win against University of Reims Champagne Ardenne (FRA), while Tampere University (FIN) displayed their proficiency with a 4-2 victory over University College Cork (IRL). The host team, University of Split, faced a nail-biting encounter, with the Irish girls winning the penalty shootout 9-8 after a 3-3 draw. The French team, Polytechnic University of Hauts-de-France, advanced with a 2-0 victory against University of Coimbra (POR).
In the men’s division, the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NOR) faced a close match against Azerbaijan State Academy of Physical Education and Sport (AZE), emerging victorious. The Croatian side, Bernays University of Applied Sciences, showcased their talent, defeating the French team with an impressive 7-0 scoreline, that way progressing to the next round as the second in their group.
Bruno Kovačić, Captain of University of Zagreb: “A tough game, a game against the University of Gdansk and the last game of the group stage of the Championship. We started the game not so strong as we conceded three goals in the first half, but luckily for us, we had the strength and resilience to come back. We always believed we could win and we achieved that. So now we can only hope for a good next match and on to the quarter-finals we go!”
European University Futsal Day 5: Quarterfinals and Preliminaries Conclude:
The 5th day brought the conclusion of the women’s quarterfinals and the final day of the men’s preliminary round. In the women’s division, University of Zagreb (CRO) emerged victorious with a 4-1 win against University of Reims Champagne Ardenne (FRA). University of Munster (GER) secured a tight 4-3 win against University of Coimbra (POR), while Tampere University (FIN) displayed proficiency with a 4-2 victory over University College Cork (IRL).
The French team, Polytechnic University of Hauts-de-France, advanced with a 2-0 victory against University of Split (CRO)In the men’s division, the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NOR) faced a close match against Azerbaijan State Academy of Physical Education and Sport (AZE). Bernays University of Applied Sciences (CRO) showcased their talent with a 7-0 victory against University of Reims Champagne Ardenne (FRA), securing their spot in the next round. Caucasus International University (GEO) displayed exceptional teamwork with a 4-0 win against Eindhoven University of Technology (NED).
Ivano-Frankivsk College of Physical Education (UKR) stunned with a jaw-dropping 16-1 victory against the Estonian Academy of Security Sciences (EST). University of Minho (POR) exhibited remarkable form, overpowering University of Bristol (GBR) with a staggering 13-0 victory, while the University of Zagreb (CRO) staged a thrilling comeback, securing a 5-4 victory over University of Gdansk (POL).
Nikola Gudašić, player of Edward Bernays University: “Good game for us, we scored a lot of goals which made us gain confidence for the next matches. For tomorrow’s game, we have some fans coming, and we need to win if we want to go to the quarter-finals. I hope, well, I know we’re going to be 100% in the game, and I think the result will be amazing for us.”
European University Futsal Day 6
Day 6 of the European Universities Futsal Championship brought forth a spectacular display of excitement with 15 thrilling matches held at the renowned Gripe and Poljud Sports Halls in Split, Croatia.
In the women’s division, fierce battles unfolded as the University of Coimbra dominated University College Cork with an 8-2 victory, while the University of Reims Champagne Ardenne secured a nail-biting 3-2 win against the University of Split. The National Pedagogical Dragomanov University showcased their prowess with a 5-2 triumph over Tampere University, and the University of Lisbon narrowly defeated the Polytechnic University of Hauts-de-France 3-2. Rey Juan Carlos University and the Norwegian University of Science and Technology also displayed their mettle with well-deserved wins of 4-2 and 1-0 against the University of Munster and the University of Zagreb, respectively.
In the men’s division, teams gave it their all despite missing their chance to compete in the knockout stage. The Eindhoven University of Technology emerged victorious over the University of Bristol with an impressive 9-3 scoreline, while the University of Pecs faced a close 4-5 defeat against the Norwegian University of Science and Technology. The University of Jyvaskyla secured a 2-1 victory over a fellow Finnish team. Additionally, the University of Mainz and the University of Gdansk showed their strength with wins of 5-1 and 7-1 against the University of Reims Champagne Ardenne and the Swiss Federal Institute of Sport Magglingen, respectively.
The men’s quarter-finals provided intense clashes, with Caucasus International University and Ivano-Frankivsk College of Physical Education going head-to-head. The match extended to penalties, with the Ukrainians triumphing after a crucial miss from a Georgian player. In another fierce encounter, the University of Zagreb faced Bernays University of Applied Sciences, with the latter securing a 3-0 lead in the first half. Zagreb mounted a comeback, making the match nail-biting until the end, but Bernays still progressed with a 4-3 scoreline. University of Toulouse II – Jean Jaures became the third semi-finalist with a 5-4 victory over Azerbaijan State Academy of Physical Education and Sport.
The most thrilling encounter of the day was the men’s semi-final between the University of Minho and the University of Split. The match showcased incredible talent, resilience, and strength from both teams, extending to one of the longest matches in the championship. With tremendous support from the home crowd, the University of Split emerged victorious with an impressive 6-2 scoreline, securing the last semi-final spot.
As the tournament heads into its final stages, the exceptional displays of skill, determination, and sportsmanship have captivated spectators and participants alike. The championship promises more unforgettable moments and more amazing matches.
The 13th European University Futsal Championship in Split brings together universities from across Europe in the spirit of sportsmanship and camaraderie. With thrilling matches, dedicated volunteers, and a meticulously organized event, it promises to be an unforgettable experience for futsal enthusiasts who watch and attend. As the tournament unfolds, the excitement continues to build, and let’s hope the championship can leave an indelible mark on the vibrant city of Split and its sporting community, check out the event promotion below:
Author of article
Stephen McGettigan was born in the Republic of Ireland but grew up in Belfast. He is the founder of Futsal Focus, a Football Industries MBA graduate from the University of Liverpool Management School. Stephen has worked in the Football and Futsal industries for 15 years.
Futsal Focus is a supporter of Dáithí Mac Gabhann and his family’s campaign to raise awareness of Organ Donation. We encourage our readers to learn more about Organ Donation: https://www.organdonation.nhs.uk/
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