Results
 

Deportivo (Cze)

1

V

0

DHL Prague (Cze)

CIS (Blr)

1

v

2*

Dark Horses (Eng)

FC Radbroke (Eng)

3

v

2

Kehar Club (Cze)

GBS Reds (Cze)

2

V

3 *

FC Xaverov (Cze)

* Dark Horses and FC Xaverov win via Golden Goal.
 

As the 2011 Prague Masters Cup Quarter-Finals were about to get underway we were down to the elite 8 teams in the tournament representing Belarus, the Czech Republic and England. The home challenge was particularly strong with 5 teams in the Cup knock-out draw.

We started on Pitch B with an all-Czech encounter between Deportivo and DHL Prague. The teams had been drawn together on two previous occasions both in the group stage. Going on past performance it was clear to see who the favourites were;

2010 Prague Masters: Deportivo 4-0 DHL Prague Red

2010 Prague Trophy: Deportivo 2-0 DHL Prague Red

If you add in to the equation that Deportivo had a 100% record with 5 wins out of 5 you could see how difficult DHL Prague's task would be. DHL Prague were a stronger team than in the past though and were unbeaten in 4 games so this match promised to be closer than their previous meetings.

The game lived up to the promise and DHL Prague gave Deportivo a really strong test. Deportivo would usually be strong favourites but not today and they were unable to breakthrough the DHL defence. The Deportivo defence was also proving strong and so we reached half-time at 0-0. DHL Prague had yet to score against Deportivo and in a tight contest if they could manage it here it would go a long way to helping them into the Semi-Final. They could not find the goal though and in the end it was Jose Barrantes of Deportivo who scored the game's only goal.

It was tournament over for DHL Prague on what was one of their strongest performances in recent times and was great to see them doing so well. We look forward to their next appearance. Deportivo had a Semi-Final to prepare for.

 
 
 

So, who would meet Deportivo in the Semi-Final? It was CIS of Belarus against Dark Horses of England. CIS had been mightily impressive so far as they won Group B with four victories and one draw. Dark Horses were going to be dangerous opposition with three successive wins, all by large margins, to reach this stage.

The two teams had met earlier in the day in the group when CIS recorded a convincing 3-0 win but since then Dark Horses had improved so we expected a closer contest. The first goal was going to be vitally important if CIS could get it there was a fair chance of a repeat, if Dark Horses could get it we could be in for a classic.

The first goal did indeed go the way of Dark Horses as Chris Bunclark gave his team an important lead. They were pegged back by one of the finest penalties you will ever see as Pavel Tomash despatched it right into the postage stamp top right hand corner. 1-1 at half-time and then 1-1 indeed at full-time.

We entered Golden Goal extra time with the game beautifully poised and the intensity increasing. It would be a shame to lose either team at this stage but one team we ould have to lose that team was CIS. Chris Bunclark scored the Golden Goal and the Dark Horses marched onwards. We must admit it was a small surprise as CIS had looked strong. On another day, we are sure they will be lifting a eurofootballfives.com trophy in the future.

 
 
 

Quarter-Final three was FC Radbroke versus Kehar Club. FC Radbroke had won Group C and were on a fine run of form until suffering defeat in their last group game. How would this effect them? Would it de-rail them or would they march on knowing that last group game was meaningless as they'd already qualified?

Kehar Club in contrast had pulled a result out of the bag winning their last group game to reach the Cup. The two teams had met earlier in the day when FC Radbroke won 3-1. A repeat performance would see the English team reach the Cup Semi-Finals for the second time. Kehar Club were experienced at this level having reached three finals (2007 Prague Masters, 2008 & 2009 Prague Trophy) so they would have confidence in their own ability to progress.

There was a certain amount of symmetry from the morning game as the teams once again reached half-time at 1-1 with Mike Brandon and Josef Rakosnik both finding the net. In the second half Pete Cox made it 2-1 and Mike Brandon made it 3-1 as we looked like seeing déjà vu. Kehar Club were up against it but not down and out as Petr Kaminski reduced the deficit to 3-2. It set up a cracking finale as Kehar Club pushed for an equalizer. FC Radbroke remained strong and held on for a fine 3-2 victory.

The 2007 champions were out and their search for a second Prague title would have to wait for another season.

 
 
 

The final Quarter-Final was another all-Czech encounter as GBS Reds took on FC Xaverov. GBS Reds up until 2010 were a perennial Plate team but in 2011 they had upped their game and after a 2011 Amsterdam Fives Cup Quarter-Final appearance they emulated their Dutch exploits to reach the same stage here in Prague. Their opponents FC Xaverov were knocked out at this stage (by Deportivo) 12 months ago and were also looking to go one better. So, who would reach the Cup Semi-Final for the first time?

It looked like FC Xaverov after the early exchanges as the Group B runners-up forged ahead through Rudolf Schiller. Starst Michal Predikant's third goal of the tournament made it 2-0 before half-time. GBS Reds were staring down the barrel and were really up against it. Josef Salatek pulled a goal back to make it 2-1 and just when it looked like time was running out GBS Reds were awarded a last minute penalty. Wilco Veldhuizen stepped up and coolly converted the penalty to make it 2-2 and send the game into extra time.

Momentum was with GBS Reds and FC Xaverov would need to regroup. In extra time, they were awarded a free-kick outside the area. Petr Dvorak struck an absolute thunderbolt to beat the GBS Reds wall and the goalkeeper to hit the back of the top left hand corner. It was a fine goal to win a contest but tough luck on GBS Reds who get better with every tournament we can't wait to see how they get on in the next event.

 
 
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