Results
 

Luca Toni FC (Swi)

4

V

2

Shahs of Sunset (Eng)

The A Team (Fra)

2

V

1

VK Dons (Eng)

Cruz Del Sur (Eng)

0

v

3

Springfield A (Eng)

Epsilon Rovers (Eng)

1*

v

1

FC Spritz (Hol)

* Epsilon Rovers won 2-1 on penalties.
 

As the 2019 Amsterdam Fives Cup Quarter-Finals were about to get underway we were down to the elite 8 teams in the tournament with France, England, the Netherlands and Switzerland still in contention.

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

Luca Toni FC would no doubt start as favourites because they had won the group but it would not be an easy task. When the two teams met earlier in the day they had drawn 3-3. This was Shahs of Sunset's 9th eurofootballfives.com appearance and the 5th time they had qualified for the Cup competition. They were bidding to reach a third Cup Semi-Final.

It was Shah's of Sunset who made the initial breakthrough thanks to a goal from Anes Jusic but Luca Toni were level by half time when Mario Flores scored his third goal of the tournament. In the second half Luca Toni FC moved ahead thanks to Hector Navarro. Mathijs Tabbers made it 3-1 and it looked like they would be going through. Anes Jusic had other ideas as he made it 3-2 but Matthijs Withagen's goal snuffed out the comeback.

Final score, 4-2. Luca Toni FC marched on.

 
 
 

So, who would meet Luca Toni FC in the Semi-Final? It was The A Team against VK Dons.

The A Team had been dominant in the group phase. They won Group B with the only 100% record in the tournament and racked up a +15 goal difference. They were the top scoring team in the group phase, had the second best defence and unsurprisingly the best goal difference of all the teams. They were the team to beat.

VK Dons qualified for this phase as the second best third placed team in the group phase. They did so with an impressive record of 2 wins and 2 defeats and just the 1 defeat. That loss came against their opponents in this Quarter-Final, the A Team. However, they pushed The A Team closer than any other team. They narrowly lost 3-2 so were equipped as anyone to try and inflict defeat on the men from Paris.

In the first half the game went with the form book as The A Team took a 1-0 lead through Randy Tchutio which is how we stood at half-time. The game was looking every bit as tight as the group phase meeting between these sides. The A Team gave themselves some breathing space in the second half thanks to a goal from Damien Griezmann. A Will Hick goal put the pressure back on though at 2-1. However, VK Dons couldn't quite get back to parity as The A Team progressed, 2-1.

We had to say farewell to VK Dons who had impressed on debut. They were 4 games unbeaten before 2 narrow defeats (both by the odd goal) to one of the tournament favourites.

 
 
 

Quarter-Final three was Cruz Del Sur versus Springfield A. This promised to be the closest Quarter-Final tie yet as it was the winners of Group C (Cruz Del Sur) versus the 2nd team in Group B (Springfield A). Before the tournament Cruz Del Sur would have had an eye on for the overall title as they went all the way to the final at the 2018 Algarve Open and picked up runners-up medals. They were gunning for their first title here.

They had made a great start by ending the group phase unbeaten and conceding just the 1 goal (the best defence in the tournament to date). Springfield A could boast a decent morning's performance too with 3 wins, 1 draw and 1 defeat to their name that 1 loss against The A Team.

It was Springfield A who hit the front courtesy of Daniel Somers second goal of the tournament. It was a lead Springfield would maintain until half-time. In the second half it got even better for them when Niall Travers made it 2-0. Cruz Del Sur had their work cut out to get back into this game but they were heading out when Niall Travers bagged his second of the game to make it 3-0.

It was a frustrating end for Cruz Del Sur who keep knocking at the door for that maiden title. They still had involvement in the tournament with Cruz Del Surely going well in the Plate.

 
 
 

The final Quarter-Final was Epsilon Rovers (Eng) versus FC Spritz (Hol). Both teams were on debut so were breaking new ground with every new step they took. FC Spritz were the last Dutch team in the draw and their nation's last hope of keeping the trophy in the Netherlands. If they could be successful they would be the first home nation to win the tournament since Benecke in 2016.

This 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. Epsilon Rovers had the better group record overall with 4 games won and just the one defeat that was in their previous game so would need to bounce back quickly. FC Spritz won 3 games but they were on a good run of form after a slow start (they lost their first two matches).

We reached full-time after an entertaining game with the teams locked together at 1-1. Evan Day's ninth goal of the tournament had given Epsilon Rovers the lead but Ionel had equalized for FC Spritz. We would need a penalty shoot-out to decide this contest.

Each team would take 3 penalties each and then sudden death (if required). The first round of penalties established an advantage for Epsilon Rovers with Evan Day scoring and FC Spritz missing. Two successful penalties retained the lead for Espilon Rovers with Anton Cole and Mariusz both converting. Epsilon Rovers missed their final spot kick but ultimately did not matter as FC Spritz also failed to convert.

FC Spritz were out and we thank them for participating but for now we had to bid them farewell. Epsilon Rovers were through.

 
 
 
 
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