9th May 2015

Bratislava Tournament

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Bratislava 7s 2015

The 2015 tournament boasted a record number of teams as 12 men's teams competed in 2 categories for the 6th annual event of the competition. Yet again great weather and as soon as the event ended the heavens then opened and it poured down...

Group 1
Men's Open
Group 2
Men's Open
Group 3
Men's Over 35s
A - The New Champs E - Lions FC United I - Pinsaguel FC
B - Argentina F - Fennecs J - BISB
C - Uisce Beatha FC G - PSE-MCS K - Olympic Discus
D - Sunday Wolves H - Harry Portir L - Banditos

A last minute switch between PSE-MCS and Banditos due to changes in registrations meant that they swapped categories; PSE-MCS would have had to play with only 6 due to fielding numerous under-age players. A few players were unable to make the 10am start which meant the schedule was revised to accommodate this.

So as the opening matches began, the two visiting teams from France played off against each other on pitch 1. Olympic Discus got off to a perfect start as they narrowly beat their counter-parts Pinsaguel FC by the odd goal. On pitch 2 there was sort of a rematch of last year's final as the Flying Penguins joined forces with the Shamrocks to make Uisce Beatha FC; the holders Sunday Wolves kicked off their campaign superbly to win 3-0 earning a bonus point in the process. And on pitch 3, last year's fourth placed side Lions FC United got off to a cracker as well as captain Dickson Munyalo scored a hat-trick to see his side cruise to a comfortable win against new side Fennecs.

The New Champs soon emerged as favourites to knock the Sunday Wolves off their perch with back-to-back 7-0 wins against Uisce Beatha FC and then Argentina. The two teams met in the final round of group matches as the New Champs came away with a narrow 1-0 win after a heated match.

Group 2 was tight and promotion for the Cup was decided in the final set of matches. Fennecs were on 3 points against PSE-MCS who were on 4 while in the other match-up, Lions FC United were on 4 points against Harry Portir who were on a point. Lions FC United banged 3 past Harry Portir to claim another 4 points and take the top spot while Fennecs snatched second spot in a close match which was won by the odd goal.

Banditos won all three of their matches to finish top of the over 35s group, while BISB took the second berth due to a better goal difference against Olympic Discus; having played out a 0-0 draw in their final group match. With only four teams in this category, it meant that these two teams would meet in the semis while Banditos would play Pinsaguel who had lost all 3 of their group matches. The first semi saw Banditos record another 2-0 win against Pinsaguel to book their place in the final and they were eventually joined by BISB who played out a 10-9 penalty shoot-out against Olympic Discus following a 1-1 stalemate.

Uisce Beatha FC were knocked out of the Plate semis by Harry Portir on penalties 4-5 after the game had finished 2-2. PSE-MCS joined them in the final as they narrowly beat Argentina 3-2. In the seventh placed play-off, Uisce Beatha FC restored some pride as they coolly finished to earn themselves a nice 3-0 win against Argentina.

The New Champs booked their final appearance following a 3-1 win over Lions FC United and they were lined up against Sunday Wolves who had beaten Fennecs by the odd goal winning 2-1.

Returning to the Over 35s competition, the two French teams battled it out again for bronze medals and Olympic Discus were victorious again this time winning 3-0. In the final, Banditos having comfortably beaten BISB 3-0 in the group, were somewhat taken aback to concede their first goal of the tournament early in this match as Graham Donald hammered home to put BISB 1-0 up. Al Robinson doubled the lead as he rifled in the second before the half-way stage. However, Tomas Patac scored perhaps goal of the tournament to settle Banditos nerves as a lofted ball over the defence was met by the back of his shoulder and then looped over the advancing Dave Keys in goal. With only seconds left, Marcel Kusnir's effort snuck through a pair of legs and found it's way into the net with Keys wrong footed. No winner was determined via the golden goal and so it was back to penalties... The Banditos claimed the cup winning 2-0!

Fennecs comfortably beat Lions FC United 4-0 in the Cup 3rd place to claim bronze medals; a surprising result considering Lions had won the initial encounter 3-0 in the opening group match. 2 years running holders Sunday Wolves most certainly had their eye on doing the treble, but the New Champs also had plans of their own! The match finished 1-1 and no goals were scored in extra-time so a fourth penalty shoot competition commenced... The New Champs were crowned 2015 champions following a 3-2 victory on penalties! Check out the video of here.

The Tournament's Top Goalscorer was Ahmed Lasnag from the New Champs with 7 goals and was closely followed by his team mate Fayez Al Muntairi and Banditos' Tomas Patac on 6 each. There were 3 goalkeepers we were looking at to award the Golden Gloves award to but in the end decided to give it to Maurizio Zaglio from the Banditos who conceded 2 goals and made a penalty save to win the cup! As always, the tournament's Player of the Tournament was as tricky as in previous years, and after much consideration, the eventual winner was the Sunday Wolves' Juan Galilia!

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