Results
 

JNJ Medical Russia (Rus)

4

V

1

Maidenhead A (Eng)

Maidenhead 1 (Eng)

1

v

3

Synthes UK 1 (Eng)

 

We were at the 2016 JNJ Euro Tournament Cup Semi-Final stage and from 14 teams who started the day we were down to the final 4. In a Summer when the England national team had disappointed at Euro 2016 the English teams in Krakow were blossoming on the European stage. They provided 3 of the Semi-Finalists with JNJ Medical Russia the only team that could prevent an English victory.

Up first was JNJ Russia versus Maidenhead A and what a game this promised to be. We had last year's Runners-Up and the 2013 winners from Moscow with vast experience in this tournament against the debutants from England. JNJ Russia had been imperious so far winning 6 of their 7 games and also picking up a draw. They had scored 21 goals and conceded just 4.

In comparison Maidenhead A had won 4, drawn 1 and lost 2 with 16 goals for and 13 against. The two records would mean JNJ Russia would start as favourites especially when you consider that they won this encounter 4-0 when the two teams met at the end of the group phase.

JNJ Russia continued from where they left off in that group phase game as they raced to a 2-0 half-time lead thanks to goals from Andrey Sheremetyev and Stanislav Martynov. In the second half JNJ Russia made it 3-0 through Vladimir Doroshenkov and it looked like they had booked their place in the Cup Final.

Joshua Goodman then scored to reduce the lead to 3-1 and Maidenhead A had a couple of chances to make it 3-2 but they were unable to convert. The momentum had switched and if they could have grabbed a second it could have lead to some worrying moments for JNJ Russia at the end of this game. The next goal however would go to JNJ Russia. When Gaspar Arutynov (top goalscorer at Bratislava 2014) made it 4-1 it extinguished any hopes of a Maidenhead A comeback.

JNJ Russia were through to the Cup Final. Maidenhead A were out but all eyes would now switch to Pitch B to see if the Maidenhead 1 team could extend their stay in the tournament.

 
 
 

So, who would take their place in the Final from the second Semi-Final? The two teams set to do battle were Maidenhead 1 and Synthes UK 1.

As with the first Semi-Final we had an experienced team at this level versus a debutant and we also had two teams who had met in the group phase. Synthes UK 1 were the experienced team having reached the Bratislava 2014 Cup Final and only missing out on a second successive Cup Final when they lost on penalties at the Semi-Final stage last year. When the two teams met in the group phase earlier today it was 3-0 to Synthes UK 1 a repeat would do them just fine!

In the first half there was just one goal to separate the two teams and it went to Adam Love of Synthes UK 1. The team were on a 6 game winning run and a 7th would see them into the final. In the second half Adam Love added his second to make it 2-0 as they edged closer to a showdown with JNJ Russia. It was Adam Love's 5th brace of the tournament as he reached 10 goals on the day. Amazingly, he was yet to go on and claim a hat-trick.

2-0 then became 3-0 as Liam Robinson found the back of the net. Liam was top goalscorer at the Prague 2015 event and was now on 6 for the tournament here at Krakow 2016. Maidenhead 1 were heading out but they did have the final word on proceedings as a late free-kick from Alvaro Martinez beat the wall and the goalkeeper to nestle in the bottom corner for 3-1.

The tournament was now over for both Maidenhead teams but they had been superb it was quite a debut and quite an achievement for both to get so far. Although I'm sure they were disappointed they should be proud of their efforts.

 
 
 
 
 
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