Results
 

JNJ High Wycombe (Eng)

4

V

1

JNJ Serbia (Ser)

JNJ Russia A (Rus)

3

v

0

JNJ Russia B (Rus)

 

We were at the 2013 JNJ Euro Soccer Tournament Cup Semi-Final stage and from 12 teams who started the day we were down to the final 4. The final 4 would be JNJ High Wycombe A, JNJ Russia B, JNJ Serbia and JNJ Russia A the first two had reached this stage in Prague last year.

 

The first Semi-Final would be contested by JNJ High Wycombe A and JNJ JNJ Serbia Team. We had barely started when Nenad Stojanovic put JNJ Serbia ahead. It was a great boost to Serbia and certainly a blow to the English team. JNJ High Wycombe overcame a 1-0 deficit against GBS Reds in their last game but JNJ Serbia were a tougher proposition.

 

JNJ Serbia held the lead until mid-way through the first half when a quick throw from Ben Causer caught the Serbian defence sleeping. The throw found Rob Buckland unattended and he coolly slot home past Ranko Zajelac in the Serbian goal for 1-1. JNJ High Wycombe then benefitted from an own goal that saw them go into half-time 2-1 up.

 

The second half began with some sparring early on and the first half chance fell to High Wycombe that was saved well by Zajelac. A series of corners to the English team followed which resulted in Matt Tominey striking the post. Momentum was swinging High Wycombe's way.

 

Rich Gould then struck the post again for High Wycombe as they sought a third goal and some breathing space. JNJ High Wycombe were eeking out the better chances now and the third goal eventually came as Matt Tominey smashed it home. The English team were arguably playing their best football of the day and Alex Woodger struck home number four to prove the point. It was game over and JNJ High Wycombe were heading to their second final in as many years.

 

It was farewell to JNJ Serbia who represented their nation superbly today. They made the QF's in 2012, SF's in 2013 maybe a Cup Final next year!

 
 
 

So, who would take their place in the Final from the second Semi-Final? The two teams set to do battle were JNJ Russia A against JNJ Russia B. It was a Russian derby in Budapest and these are always tricky affairs playing against your good friends and colleagues.

 

The first half was a fairly sedate affair and played much like a game of chess. JNJ Russia A were doing much of the pressing, controlling possession of the football but much of the good work was around the half-way line and not in an area where JNJ Russia B were unduly threatened. There was little in the way of chances and it was maybe no surprise that we reached half-time level at 0-0.

 

In the second half the pattern continued. The game desperately needed a goal and it arrived through Artem Khodas who celebrated with a Usain Bolt pose. It was 1-0 to JNJ Russia A and shortly after JNJ Russia A took a stranglehold on the game at 2-0 through Valery Shumov. The game looked over for JNJ Russia B. The Russians in White had to change their gameplan. Instead of soaking up pressure from the Russians in Red they would have to come out and attack. This created space for JNJ Russia A on the counter-attack and Artem Khodas took full advantage to make it 3-0 and seal their place in the Cup Final. With his closest challengers already knocked out, Khodas was the tournament Top Goalscorer elect already with 11 goals to his name.

 

JNJ Russia B were out at the Semi-Final stage for the second successive year but their JNJ Russia A team-mates had a Cup Final to prepare for.

 
 
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