FAI 5s - 7th September 2013

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FAI 5s 2013

Team Slovakia will represent Tournament Heaven at the national finals in Coolock on Friday 27th September as they take on the best of the rest to claim the chance to play at the Aviva Stadium for the 2013 Aviva 5s finals on 17th October.

Group A: Following on from a below par performance in June where the Slovaks finished 7th from 8 teams, they certainly adapted well to the FAI 5s rules of no over head passes and scoring from inside the box. 2 wins in the group ensured they progressed in 2nd place behind 5-man Dun Argyle who won all 3 matches; another side that had been reshaped following on from June's 6th place finish. The Latin Kings fielded two teams in this competition and their 'B' team found the going tough as they lost all 3 group matches to finish bottom of the group. New team the Underdogs A Team goalkeeper was unable to play in the event so the side was forced to mix it up at the back - having lost their first against Dun Argyle 0-2, they then came away with a 6-4 win over the Latin Kings B and needed to win their last match to oust their opponents Team Slovakia; the latter won 2-1 to qualify.

Group B: Only three teams in this group and so each team played each other team twice. A better chance to qualify for the Cup knock-out round perhaps, however, in hind sight, with an extra game to play sapping energy levels how would the all-important knock-out matches fair? Fewer goals scored in this group despite the same number of matches 26-11. Latin Kings A won all their games apart from their last encounter which was against Imperium FC, losing to the odd goal to nil, but by that time, they had won the group and so were perhaps not too fussed. Rocco Rovers picked up the 2nd qualifying spot by getting the edge over Imperium FC in both matches, winning 1-0 on both occasions.

Cup Semis: June's Champions Rocco Rovers were paired up with Dun Argyle while Latin Kings A, runners-up in June, met Team Slovakia. Both matches were keenly contested but it was Dun Argyle and Team Slovakia who squeezed through, both sides winning 2-1.

Plate Semis: While The Underdogs A Team got a bye into the final of the Plate competition, Latin Kings B fought out a 1-1 draw with Imperium FC. The match went to penalties... with all goals going in at 3-3, sudden death resumed and at 4-4 the Latin Kings hit the post. Imperium FC dispatched their 5th penalty to book a final berth. Video.

Finals: The Plate final saw Imperium FC edge out The Underdogs by a couple of goals winning 2-0. Not only did they pick up medals for their efforts, they also ended the tournament with the best defensive record, 5 goals conceded in 6 games. In the Cup final, it was all to play for - the winner would be invited to compete in the National finals at Coolock. The match between the finalists in the group was won by Dun Argyle beating Team Slovakia 4-1, however, Dun Argyle were fading with only 5 men and in the first half Team Slovakia went ahead 1-0. They doubled their lead soon after and looked to be in control... However, Dun Argyle, like in the 2011 Cup final, fought their way back into the match and surprised all to level at 2-2. Both sides could have snatched the win but both keepers were on super form! Time soon ran out and the match was to be decided by penalties! Dun Agyle went first despite the ball hitting both posts, was saved on the line... Team Slovakia scored to take the advantage. Dun Argyle's 2nd penalty was saved and Team Slovakia scored their second to seal the win! Again, just like in 2011, Dun Argyle came so close but were thwarted by penalties again! Video.

Many thanks to Astropark for hosting the event. Well done to all the captains and players, it was a little difficult to get used to the head height rule, but we hope that if this event is organised again next year, we will see you back to compete again!

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