Results

Prisoners (Eng)

2 *

V

2

The Shooting Shamrocks (Ire)

* Prisoners won 6-5 on penalties AET.

 

The final of the 2008 Prague Masters would be contested by The Shooting Shamrocks of Ireland and Prisoners of England. You may recall that these teams met each other in the morning phase in Group B.

In the group game the two teams could not be separated in a 2-2 draw and this was likely to be another close encounter with The Shooting Shamrocks regaining their form in the latter stages of their semi-final. The Prisoners had only lost once en route to the final in their opening game against Bartley Greeners. They had even remained unbeaten against the two teams in their group who made the Cup semi-finals.

What followed was an absolutely classic. Without a doubt this match was the best Plate final eurofootballfives.com has ever seen.

Prisoners drew first blood when Cleyton Cabral broke the deadlock with his second of the tournament at just the right time. The Shooting Shamrocks had fallen behind in their semi-final and fought back and would have to do the same again in the final. This is exactly what they did as they gradually fought their way back into the game and eventually got the goal they craved through Anthony Foley.

It did not take long for one goal to become two as Anthony Foley scored again. Everything was going the way of the Irish at the moment and, with time running out, it looked for all the world that a second successive comeback would result in glory. Prisoners had other ideas and showed great metal to lift themselves and produce a comeback of their own. Chris Aronson scored his fifth of the tournament late on to send the Prisoners into unconfined joy with a well-earned equaliser.

It was a game that neither team deserved to lose and 2-2 was probably a fair scoreline at full-time. This was exactly the same scoreline as when the teams met in the group. This time round there would be no points sharing as the teams entered golden goal extra time.

A lot of effort and energy was put into the finding that crucial last goal but alas it was not to be found and the game would go to the dreaded penalty shoot-out. This would be the first ever penalty shoot-out in a eurofootballfives.com final.

The toss of the coin decided that the Shooting Shamrocks would shoot first. Six perfect penalties later and the teams were locked at 3-3. Sudden death penalties awaited. Two more penalties each and two more goals each as the exemplary display of penalties continued with neither keeper having a chance to make themselves a hero.

Then came the telling moment. The next round of penalties saw us start with the same penalty takers as we began with. Up stepped Shooting Shamrocks only to put their 6th penalty narrowly wide of the target with a slightly wide effort.

The pressure was now on the shoulders of Bishal Gautam who was one kick away from glory. Up he stepped and placed it towards the top right corner. Gary Noonan got finger tips to the strike but could not prevent it finding the back of the net to send the Prisoners into raptures.

A great final played in a great spirit and it was handshakes all round as the teams walked off to a warm and generous applause.

Congratulations to Prisoners and commiserations to the Shooting Shamrocks.

The 2008 Prague Masters Plate Winners Prisoners.

 
 
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