second Semi-Final was an encounter between JNJ
Russia B and JNJ Middle East as 3rd in Group
B played 4th in Group A. The prospect of a JNJ
Russia Plate Final was still very much a possibility
– could JNJ Middle East prevent it?
the first Semi-Final was a bit one-sided then
this was a much more even and much closer contest.
In fact, there was very little between the two
teams and it was maybe no surprise that we reached
half-time all level at 0-0.
Russia B drew first blood in the second half
when (who else?) Gaspar Arutyunov scored his
9th of the tournament. It was not to be a winning
goal though as Bulent Kotan scored his 2 nd
of the tournament to make it 1-1. Then, just
before the end of full-time Matthijs Van Schagen
pulled off a fine double save to preserve parity
and the game finished 1-1.
would now have Golden Goal extra time and potentially
a penalty shoot-out if required. Bulent Kotan
had the first significant effort in extra time
as he forced Anton Smirnov in the Russian goal
to produce a spectacular save to tip the ball
round the post. At the other end, Alexander
Betin missed a good opportunity to seal it for
extra time can be cagey but this was far from
it. This was end to end stuff and either team
good win it. In a flash one team could be celebrating
a place in the Final whilst the other team would
have to contemplate a sudden exit from the tournament.
That moment came not long before the half-time
whistle was due and it was Maxim Yurevich who
sparked wild Russian celebrations and caused
heartache to the JNJ Middle East players.
was a tough way for JNJ Middle East to go out
but they could now take a well-earned rest after
a superb debut in the tournament. As the team
who had travelled the furthest to the event
we would like to thank them for their efforts
and we look forward to seeing them again on
a future European adventure.