Results
 

We Pay People (Hol)

1

V

3

JK Silvertown (Eng)

Melee FC (Eng)

4

v

1

FC Fylde Old Boys A (Eng)

Skidmarks (Eng)

1*

v

1

Magnum (Fra)

Wandsworth Athletic (Eng)

2

V

3

Municipality of Raanana (Isr)

* Skidmarks won 3-2 on penalties.
 

As the 2018 Amsterdam Fives Cup Quarter-Finals were about to get underway we were down to the elite 8 teams in the tournament with France, England, Israel and the Netherlands still in contention.

We started on Pitch 1 with the winners of Group A (We Pay People) versus the third placed team with the best points record in the group phase (JK Silvertown). In a strange quirk of fate, due to the pre-determined draw both teams had emerged from Group A.

We Pay People would no doubt start as favourites not only had they won the group but they had won the game when the two teams met earlier in the day. They had won it in convincing fashion too, 5-1.

Already this was We Pay People's most successful tournament qualifying for the Cup for the first time but they would go no further than the Quarter-Finals. JK Silvertown turned the tables on their opponents from this morning's game. Chris Wright and Ben Short both scored in the first half to give them a 2-1 lead despite Michel Raven's goal for We Pay People. When Gary Manning made it 3-1 in the second half it was game over for the Dutch team.

JK Silvertown marched on.

 
 
 

So, who would meet JK Silvertown in the Semi-Final? It was Melee FC against FC Fylde Old Boys.

Melee FC had been dominant in the group phase. They won Group B with 13 points from 15 and racked up a +13 goal difference. If there was a chink in the armoury it may have been that their last 2 games were not quite as dominant as the last 3. A 3-3 draw with KPN Digital and a 2-1 win over LMH FC. Up until that point Melee FC had not even conceded a goal.

FC Fylde Old Boys A would come into the game on a bit of a high. In a very tight group they qualified for the Cup with victory in their final fixture and they did it emphatically, winning 7-2. FC Fylde had qualified for the Cup for the second time (A time this year, B team last year) and were looking to see if they could beat their previous best of a Cup Semi-Final at the 2017 Krakow Trophy.

Melee FC seemed back to their formidable best as they opened up a 3-0 lead in the first half of this tie. Jack Dell got the ball rolling and they never looked back. The second half eased off as it was more important not to let FC Fylde back in rather than go for more goals. There was a goal each in the second half as Melee FC maturely saw the game out. A Tom Clark double and a goal from Kevin Lewis helped Melee on their way.

Nathaniel Smithies got his team's final goal of the day for FC Fylde. It was his fourth of the tournament which got him a spot on the top goalscorers leaderboard but sadly for him his team were out.

 
 
 

Quarter-Final three was Skidmarks versus Magnum. This promised to be the closest Quarter-Final tie yet as it was the winners of Group C versus the 2nd team in Group B. Before the tournament started these were two of the teams who we would have had an eye on for the overall title so it was perhaps unfortunate they didn't meet a little later in the draw.

Magnum had qualified for the Quarter-Finals in our events for the third time. At the 2014 Berlin Fives they went out on Golden Goal. At the 2015 Amsterdam Fives they never got the chance to play as Storm Zejko meant we were forced to abandon the event at the end of the group phase.

Skidmarks had played in 7 previous Quarter-Finals in our events and qualified for the Semi-Finals on 6 of those occasions. Only Argentina at the 2014 Budapest Fives had prevented them reaching the Semi-Finals.

With the match underway this was proving just as tight a contest as we thought it would be. The two teams reached the full time whistle all square at 1-1. Neil Taylor scored his fourth goal of the day for the English team. David Teixeira scored his eighth of the day for the French team.

It meant we would need a penalty shoot-out to decide this. Magnum FC were untested in penalty shoot-outs in our events. Skidmarks were very adept at penalties having won 5 of their 6 shoot-outs to date.

Despite missing their first penalty Skidmarks recovered to make it 2-2 at the end of the regulation 3 penalties each. It was in the first round of death that this tie was decided. Skidmarks scored, Magnum missed. Skidmarks were through.

 
 
 

The final Quarter-Final was Wandsworth Athletic (Eng) versus Municipality of Raanana (Isr). The Israeli team were on debut so were breaking new ground with every new step they took.

Wandsworth Athletic were playing in their second Cup Quarter-Final. There was a bit of déjà vu for them as at the 2011 Valencia Fives they claimed second position in Group A to qualify for the Cup. They then lost their Quarter-Final 3-1 to 2 x eurofootballfives.com com winners Lozenetz City of Bulgaria. They would hope that's where the déjà vu ended.

It was a battle between the Runners-Up from Group A and Group C respectively so the two teams should have been well matched and they proved to be so. We reached half-time after an entertaining opening period. We had four goals to enjoy as the teams were locked together at 2-2. James Platt and Owen Smith-Palmer both advanced their goal tallies for the English team. Oren Tavor and Avinoam Bidani each did the same for Municipality of Raanana.

The second half was the perfect stage for someone to be a hero and score the winning goal that would send his team through to the Semi-Finals. That man would be Eliraz Kahlon. It was only his second goal of the tournament but certainly the most important.

There was no way back for Wandsworth Athletic thank you to them for participating but for now we had to bid them farewell. They certainly lived up to their billing that these style pitches suited them.

 
 
 
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