Football fans across Copenhagen were jumping for joy late last year when the draw for the last 16 of the Danish Cup was announced.
The pairing of Superliga giant FC Copenhagen and third-tier side B93 might not sound like the most inspiring match at first glance, but the contest is loaded with historical consequence and perhaps the closest local derby in Denmark as their stadiums lie adjacent to one another.
Jonas Klausen, the managing director of B93, certainly won’t need any further motivation ahead of the game on Wednesday March 1. It’s the club’s biggest game for years.
“It’s the biggest we’ve played since I’ve been part of B93,” said Klausen.
“Smaller teams are always hoping to get the bigger teams in the cup because of the fanfare and financial benefits those matches can generate. And it’s very interesting to see how much work goes into organising the game.”
Rich in history
B93 might be playing in the lower divisions at the moment, but the club actually has a rich history. Founded in 1893 (where it got its name), B93 won nine Danish championship titles between 1916 and 1946 and spent 35 seasons in the top flight – the last being in the 98-99 season.
The club has a superb reputation for fostering talent, having produced a host of top players, including 46 national team players and three current FCK players: Mathias Zanka Jørgensen, Jores Okore and Bashkim Kadrii.
While they may not stand the greatest of chances against the Lions on Wednesday, they do have some cup pedigree, winning it 35 years ago in 1982 (a decade before FCK was even founded). And they’ve already dispatched one Superliga team in the cup this year – ousting Esbjerg 1-0 thanks to an injury-time winner.
A small let-down for B93 is that the game will be played at the Telia Parken Stadium despite B93 being the home team for the game. The national football association, the DBU, has deemed Østerbro Stadium unfit for football following the winter break.
The lack of under-pitch heating means the pitch would be ruined for the rest of the season should the game go ahead at Østerbro Stadium.
“We are trying to get the best out of it. It’s obviously a big disadvantage not playing at our home stadium. It would have been a more authentic experience,” said Klausen.
“The fun thing about it is that many in our fan group are also FCK fans.”
One game, one winner
Klausen said that while FCK is favoured to win on paper, B93’s players are highly motivated to cause another upset.
“That’s the beauty of cup games. It’s just one match. We beat Esbjerg in our previous game and FCK are making a big mistake if they thing they’ll just run us over.”
So far, about 2,500 tickets have been sold, but Klausen is expecting that number to rise over the next few days as the clash approaches.
Tickets can be purchased for 60-120 kroner here at Ticketmaster.