Results
 

DePuy Blackpool (Eng)

4

V

1

Nordic Vikings (Scand)

Maidenhead (Eng)

1

V

1*

Klopp & Co (Bel)

* Klopp & Co (Bel) won 3-2 on penalties.

 

We were down to our final 4 teams in the Plate competition with teams representing Belgium, England (2) and the Nordic region.

 

The first Semi-Final would see DePuy Blackpool take on Nordic Vikings. DePuy Blackpool had earned a bye courtesy of their 5th placed finish in Group B. Would that give them time to rest weary legs or give them time to seize up. Nordic Vikings, having won their Quarter-Final 1-0, had already warmed up.

 

Both teams were on debut in this event so breaking new ground with every win. A place in a European final was at stake for whoever could earn victory from this tie.

 

Nordic Vikings came into this game with some form behind them as they had won both of their previous games. However, it was DePuy Blackpool who made the early running in the opening period. Mosin Chopdat was on target not once but twice. He was ably assisted in the goal-scoring stakes by Youssuf Benarous as the English team lead 3-1 at half-time. An Erik Corsman goal kept Nordic Vikings in it.

 

In the second half the result was put beyond doubt as Wayne Turner scored the goal to make it 4-1. There was no way back for Nordic Vikings. DePuy Blackpool had a European final to prepare for.

 
 
 

The second Semi-Final was Maidenhead versus Klopp & Co. If you'd have asked us before kick-off that we would have Maidenhead versus Klopp & Co in the knock-out phase we would have thought that it would be in the Cup competition. Today, this contest was in the Plate.

 

Klopp & Co could consider themselves unlucky not to have finished higher in Group A. They had the second best goal-scoring record of all 14 teams in the event (11 goals), the joint best goal difference of all teams (+9) and the joint best defence of all teams (with JNJ High Wycombe & JNJ Turkey). Two 1-0 defeats had scuppered their chances in the Cup.

 

They would therefore start as favourites for the Plate title. It was maybe no surprise when they took a first half lead through Yannick Van Steyvoort. In the second half Niall Dowling levelled things up at 1-1. It meant a penalty shoot-out would be required to settle this.

 

Maidenhead would take the first penalty kick and it was Richard Parkinson (3 goals in the tournament) versus Jelle Van Steenbergen. Parkinson went straight and low down the middle but the goalkeeper stuck out a leg and saved it. Maarten Sas was the first man up for Klopp & Co. Andrew Lewis in goal for Maidenhead got hands to it but the penalty had too much on it and it was 1-0 to Belgium.

 

Niall Dowling's goal got us to this penalty shoot-out and he was up next for the English team. Dowling went low and just evaded Van Steenbergen's outstretched boot this time and it was 1-1. Yannick Van Steyvoort had the chance to put Belgium back in front. Andrew Lewis dived to his right, Van Steyvoort went to Lewis's left and it was 2-1.

 

Andrew Lewis changed roles from goalkeeper to striker as he would take his team's third penalty. It was a beauty top left corner and Van Steenbergen had no chance. Andrew Lewis returned to goal knowing he had to keep out the next Belgian penalty for Maidenhead to stay in the tournament. Bert Meeus was the man to step forward to the penalty spot. He struck it into the bottom corner and Klopp & Co were through.

 
 
 
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