Not defended the title of «Gazprom-Ugra» became the fourth in the UEFA Cup

© Fotolia / kikujungboyИгра in mini-football. Archival photoNot defended the title of «Gazprom-Ugra» became the fourth in the UEFA Cup© Fotolia / kikujungboy

Players of «Gazprom-Ugra» of Yugorsk are unable to defend the title winners of the UEFA Cup on mini-football. Thus, while none of the clubs able to win the strongest club tournament of Europe twice in a row after a change in the rules of the competition.

The winner of the UEFA Cup last season, «Gazprom-Ugra» in the Final four, held from 28 to 30 April in Almaty, took only fourth place. The UEFA Cup has been held annually since 2001 and in the first two rounds on the top step of the podium climbed the Spanish team «Playas de castellón». However, before the 2006-07 season, the tournament underwent changes in regulations, and only with the specified draw the strongest club of Europe was determined in the Final four, which nobody has been subjected to two consecutive years.

The current «Final four» became the 11-th under the account, and informed the Russian clubs did not participate in the final drawing only twice (2009/10 and 2010/11). «Gazprom-Yugra» in 2015 for the first time in history won the championship of Russia, which allowed the team to make his debut in the UEFA Cup. In the end the club from Khanty-Mansi Autonomous district immediately fired, becoming the third Russian team that won the tournament. Previously such success was achieved Moscow «Dynamo» (2006/07) and Ekaterinburg «Sinara» (2007/08).

Was expecting a more bright game from «Gazprom-Yugra»

If last year «Gazprom-Ugra» was perceived only as a dark horse in the semi-finals this season against sporting FC, the Russian team played in the status of favorite. However, it’s the team from the Iberian Peninsula were stronger — 2:1. In the match for third place, the players of «Gazprom-Yugra» met with the hosts of the tournament Kazakhstan «Kairat», which is the seventh time I participated in the «final four» of the UEFA Cup.

In the end, «Gazprom-Ugra» lost two-time winners of the strongest club tournament in a penalty shootout (5:5, 2:3), left without medals. The head of the Association of mini-football (UMPHREY) Emil Aliyev noted that, the national team did not demonstrate the maximum capacity.

«We are disappointed by the fourth place «Gazprom-Yugra». We were expecting a more bright game from the team. «Gazprom-Yugra» unfortunately, this tournament did not show their best qualities. Many players played not very bright. Although the team had a chance in the semi-finals and the match for third place. Although in the consolation final of «Kairat» objective and confident playing in front of our fans», — Aliyev said «R-Sport».

The winner of the UEFA Cup Spanish «inter» which in last season has conceded to «Gazprom-Ugra» in the final of the tournament.

Season 2017/18 Association with the highest rating (at the moment it is Russia, Spain and Portugal) will be able to declare to the tournament for the second representative, in addition to the champion, and the season-2018/19, the UEFA Cup will be renamed the UEFA Champions League in mini-football.