Results
 

Skidmarks (Eng)

2*

V

2

Shahs of Sunset (Eng)

Slovakia (Svk)

1

v

4

CIS Committee (Blr)

* Skidmarks won 3-1 on penalties.

 

We were at the 2014 Bratislava Fives Cup Semi-Final stage and from 24 teams who started the day we were down to the final 4 already an achievement for those who were still in the hunt for glory. The first Cup Semi-Final would see Skidmarks versus Shahs of Sunset. Skidmarks had never lost a Cup Semi-Final having secured a 100% record of three wins at this stage of a tournament. The Shahs of Sunset had reached a Cup Semi-Final on one previous occasion when they last narrowly, 1-0, to Team Bear who went on to win the 2013 Budapest Fives. Could they go one stop further this year and put a dent in that Skidmarks record?

It was Skidmarks who drew first blood as they aimed to make their fourth eurofootballfives.com Cup Final. It was Luke Hatfield who gave them the early ascendency. Shahs of Sunset battled back to parity when Paolo Ferrari scored his sixth goal of the day. It was 1-1 at half-time. In the second half, Skidmarks Tom Augarde forced a good save from Andreas Jank in the Shahs goal. From the resulting corner Luke Hatfield turned in his second of the game to restore the lead for Skidmarks. Once again Shahs of Sunset showed great resilience to fight back. A break away by Ferrari on the left hand side resulted in him squaring the ball for Martin Weltman to nip in and apply the finish for 2-2.

Both teams had needed a penalty shoot-out to reach this stage and both would now need one to make the Cup Final. In the earlier round Shahs of Sunset improved their shoot-out record to read 2 wins and 1 defeat. Skidmarks had never been involved in a shoot-out (in eurofootballfives.com competition) until today and now had a second one in as many matches.

It was Skidmarks to shoot first and they kept with the same order that saw them victorious in the Quarter-Finals. Neil Taylor avenged his miss last time out to confidently put Skidmarks 1-0 up great mental resilience a la Stuart Pearce in Euro 96 (we were spared the celebration though). Martin Weltman was up next for Shahs of Sunset but he saw his effort saved by Paul Mulvey diving to his left. It was cruel on Weltman who had scored the goal to get us to this point. Luke Hatfield then converted to make it 2-0.

Up stepped Anes Jusic for Shahs of Sunset. We mentioned Stuart Pearce before and Jusic was another story of redemption. At the 2012 Valencia Fives it was his miss that saw Shahs crash out. One year later in Budapest and his penalty crucially kept his side in it to be mobbed by his team-mates. The pressure was on again he had to score to keep his team in it. This was the Jusic of Budapest and he sent the goalkeeper the wrong way to make it 2-1. Next up was Tom Augarde for Skidmarks he scored in the last round and he scored again here to seal his team's place in the Cup Final. Skidmarks were two wins from two in penalty shoot-outs.

It was a tough exit for Shahs of Sunset who could not have been closer to making their breakthrough Cup Final. With two Cup Semi-Final defeats maybe it will be third time lucky next time out.

 
 
 

So, who would take their place in the Final from the second Semi-Final? The two teams set to do battle were Slovakia against CIS Commitee.

The Slovakia team was enjoying a superb debut with 5 wins and 1 draw from their 6 games today. They had scored 18 goals and conceded just 3. The CIS Committee record was very similar 6 wins, 21 goals and just the three conceded. If you look at CIS Committee's overall record in our tournaments they had played 20 games, won 17, drawn three and were undefeated. They had scored a massive 51 goals and conceded only 9. They were reigning champions of the Budapest Fives and had only been knocked out of our tournaments once a Golden Goal (that game went down as a draw in normal time for the above stats).

This was the enormity of the challenge facing Slovakia. It was one they faced head on and very well especially in the opening exchanges. They could not prevent CIS Committee taking the lead through Vitali Ledenev though. It was the only goal of a competitive first half.

In the second half Martin Cano scored for Slovakia but ultimately it proved to be a consolation as Vitali Ledenev, Henadzi Nestsiuk and Aliaksandr Chaikouski ensured a 4-1 victory and another Cup Final in 2014 for CIS. We thank Slovakia for participating in the tournament and congratulations on a very good debut. We hope you will join us again when we return on the 2nd May 2015!

 
 
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