Beeston Operation Leeds (Eng)




Actelion FC (Swi)

JNJ Turkey (Tur)




DePuy Synthes Switzerland (Swi)

JNJ Russia (Rus)




Leeds One United (Eng)

JNJ Poland (Pol)




JNJ High Wycombe (Eng)


We were now at the business end of the 2018 JNJ Euro Soccer Tournament - Quarter-Finals time. The original field of 14 teams had been trimmed down to the elite 8 teams in the tournament with the England, Poland, Russia, Switzerland and Turkey all represented.


We started on Pitch C with Beeston Operation Leeds versus Actelion FC. If there was an award for the most improved team then Beeston Operation Leeds would certainly win it. Following 2 campaigns where they qualified for the Plate they stormed to Cup qualification not only did they qualify for the Cup but they won the Group A title. Could they keep the impressive form going?


Actelion FC were on debut so were in unchartered territory. They were one of two Swiss teams to reach the Cup Quarter-Finals. If they were successful, they would be the third Swiss winner of this tournament in 7 years following Cilag Team 1's victories in 2015 and 2017.


When the game kicked-off it was Beeston Operation Leeds who claimed the early advantage with Aidan Gallagher on target again he was having a fine tournament in front of goal. At half-time, Beeston Operation Leeds retained the 1-0 lead.


In the second half they stretched the lead to 2-0. Harry Jones was also in amongst the goals today and he added to his tally which put the game out of reach of Actelion FC. There was a fifth clean sheet in 7 games for Dave Gregory as the English team progressed.


Quarter-Final two saw JNJ Turkey versus DePuy Synthes Switzerland.


We could potentially have had an all-Switzerland Semi-Final but Actelion FC's defeat had ended that possibility. DePuy Synthes Switzerland were their country's last hope of glory in this tournament.


JNJ Turkey were in familiar territory having qualified for the Cup for the third successive tournament. They currently had a 100% Quarter-Final success rate 4-1 winners over Slavoj Consumer in 2015 and 7-0 winners versus Leeds One United in 2017. They seemed to raise their game for the knock-out phase so DePuy Synthes Switzerland beware!


Edip Efe was the joint top scorer in the tournament with 5 goals at the end of the group phase. He moved ahead on his own with strike #6 as he put JNJ Turkey 1-0 up. 1-0 became 2-0 when last year's top goalscorer, Serkan Kardesler, struck his second of the day. When the team's changed ends JNJ Turkey were in a commanding position.


After the break JNJ Turkey extended their lead with goals from Fatih Karabulut and Ozan Capar. Although Amadeus Zarbock struck for DePuy Synthes Switzerland it would prove to be a mere consolation and their last goal of the day. Final score, 4-1.


The line-up for the first Semi-Final had been confirmed. Who would take the first berth in the second Cup Semi-Final? The teams set to do battle were JNJ Russia and Leeds One United.


It was so far so good for JNJ Russia in their pursuit of a historic third title. They finished 2nd in Group A. JNJ Russia had now qualified for the Cup on 6 of their 7 appearances. Leeds One United had qualified for the Cup for 2 of their 4 appearances. Those 2 appearances were the most recent Krakow 2016 and Bratislava 2017.


The last time these two teams met was in the group phase of the Krakow 2016 edition of the tournament when JNJ Medical Russia defeated The Rodallega Bombs (now Leeds One United) by 1 goal to nil.


On both their Cup Quarter-Final appearances Leeds One United had bowed out. It looked to be a case of history repeating itself as JNJ Russia established a 2-0 lead in the opening half. Maxim Ustinov and Andrey Sheremetyev were the men to find the back of the net.


In the second half it was more of the same from the Russian team. Alexander Rimskiy and Lev Mikheev added to the tally in the second half as they secured safe passage to the next round.


The final Quarter-Final was JNJ Poland versus JNJ High Wycombe. It was the Group B winners versus 4th place from Group A although that didn't tell the full story as the two teams were more evenly matched than the gap in league positions suggested.


JNJ Poland were the top scoring team in the group phase with 12 goals. JNJ High Wycombe only had 2 less. JNJ Poland had the biggest goal difference from the group phase with +9, JNJ High Wycombe were +8. JNJ High Wycombe had the joint best goal difference with just 2 conceded. JNJ Poland were only 1 behind with 3 conceded.


These were two teams targeting the ultimate prize and not here to make up the numbers. JNJ High Wycombe were looking to add this year's title to their 2014 success. JNJ Poland were getting closer each year and reached the Cup Semi-Final last year. Could they go at least one step further in 2018?


It was JNJ High Wycombe who drew first blood. Paul Lynch the man with the crucial goal. This was arguably the toughest tie of the Quarter-Finals and so all eyes were on Pitch C. At half-time it was still 1-0 to JNJ High Wycombe. The English team you sensed were almost there when they went 2-0 up with another Paul Lynch goal. Having only conceded 2 in 6.5 games it would be something special for JNJ Poland to hit back in the limited time left.


Will Frempong and his defence continued to impress with yet another solid defensive display. It was an incredible 6th clean sheet in 7 games.

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