Bratislava 7s - 10th May 2014

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Bratislava 7s 2014

The draw for the Bratislava tournament was completed on 29th April and teams were divided into groups as follows:

Group I Group II
A - Sunday Wolves E - PSE-MCS
B - British International School F - Flying Penguins
C - FC Economist BA G - 2 FC Tryskac
D - Shamrocks H - Lions FC United

Players started arriving up to 75 minutes before the first tournament match to ensure they completed a thorough warm-up and it was noticeable that tournament fever had begun. Yet again, the weather was amazing and spirits were high!

Before the tournament commenced, captains from each team came together to be informed of the rules and the importance of fair play and respect; handshakes and well wishes wrapped up the meeting and with the referees ready to go, the tournament was all set.

2013 holders Sunday Wolves started as they meant to go on in their opening group fixtures by recording impressive wins and gaining bonus points in the process. The group was yet to be decided however as the Shamrocks with a large Gaelic presence in the squad, were also on 2 victories from 2. The Shamrock's captain, former Akkies veteran Stary Jazvec, was minutes away from victory only for Sunday Wolves to grab an equaliser; meaning the Wolves claimed top spot in the group and presumably the easier qualifier. BIS and FC Economist played out a 2-2 draw in their Group I match which meant BIS gained the upper hand finishing 3rd due to a higher goal difference

Group II was a lot tighter with the odd goal separating teams in most matches. The Flying Penguins ensured top spot with three clean sheets and with the odd goal at the other end gained 7 points. 2nd spot was won by Lions FC United with a win and 2 draws, just edging out PSE-MCS into 3rd spot on 4 points. Although the latter unfortunately missed out on the Cup semis, they looked favourites going into the Plate knock-out rounds. While 2 FC Tryskac finished bottom of the group narrowly losing all 3 qualifiers.

2 FC Tryskac played their fourth match in succession and found the going tough against BIS's squad of 11. BIS gobbled up any chances that came to them and were soon in the driving seat going into the 2nd half and as legs became tired, 2 FC Tryskac eventually lost out 4-1. PSE-MCS also made the semi-final light work cruising past FC Economist 3-1 to book a plate final replay of 2013. Unlike in the 2013 Plate final, PSE-MCS were looking for revenge - every time BIS scored, PSE-MCS pegged them back in what was a thrilling encounter that finally ended 3-3. The match went to penalties and it only took 1 miss to determine a winner. See the video here. Seventh spot was won by FC Economist BA 3-2 as 2 FC Tryskac played their 5th match in succession.

The Cup semi-finals were both cagey affairs and scenes of delight could be seen/heard when that all-important opening goal went in. As such, both semi-finals were won by the team that scored first, Sunday Wolves winning 2-0 against Lions FC United and Flying Penguins winning against the Shamrocks by the same score. The Shamrocks came up trumps in the 3rd place final as they overcame Lions FC United 2-0 and the Flying Penguins keeper saw red in the final which was the turning point for his side as his replacement then went onto to concede as the team lost 2-0! A huge congratulations to Sunday Wolves on retaining their title and becoming the first side to win the title twice. It'll be interesting to see how they get on next year!

The Tournament's Top Goalscorer was Antonio Moralez from Sunday Wolves retaining his title from last year - this time he scored 8 goals! The best goal keeper award was given to Daniel Vasko from the Flying Penguins; despite his red card in the final, he only conceded 1 goal. The prestigious Player of the Tournament award was eventually presented to Darko Ancevski from Lions FC United.

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