In the wake of the highly successful Cayman World Cup five a side football tournament hosted at King’s Sport Centre earlier this year, Cayman Sports Authority organised the Cayman EuroCup competition.
The event featured five teams composed of players from Europe. England entered two teams, with Scotland and Ireland joining in as well. The only team from continental Europe was Romania.
The second day of action kicked off with two winless teams, Scotland and England Red going head to head in game six.
England looked strong early on as they had the better part of the action with some good shots on goal. Scotland started getting into the game towards the latter part of the first half, and were rewarded with a goal by Kevin Mitchell.
In a heated second half it looked to be anyone’s game, until late on when Alan Glasgow claimed a second goal for Scotland, putting the game out of England’s reach.
The 2-0 win left Scotland looking good for a semi-final berth, while England Red looked to be on their way out.
In game seven, England White looked to have an uphill battle in front of them as they faced the in form Ireland team.
It did not take long for Ireland to take control as Declan Cassidy scored.
Only a couple of seconds into the second half, England seemed to score the equaliser, but the goal was disallowed.
After a shaky start to the second half, Ireland came back strong later on, but in spite of some good shots Ireland could not put the final result beyond doubt.
A last minute free kick for England could have forced a draw, but it was not to be as Ireland claimed a nail biting 1-0 win to maintain an unblemished record.
Game eight would be do or die for England Red. With no wins to their credit, the team had to take on the Romanian squad.
The first couple of minutes belonged to England with some strong shots on goal. However, Romania found scored first through Stefan Kormos.
Only a minute later Chris Fenn scored the equaliser for England Red, the team’s first goal of the tournament.
England managed to grab the lead a couple of minutes later through another Fenn effort, taking the score out to 2-1 at the close of the half.
The second half started with Romania on the attack and sustained pressure resulted in a goal for Patraulea to level the game at 2-2.
Less than a minute later Peter Carlow regained the lead for England, followed by a goal for Mike Thornton to put England 4-2 up with two minutes of play left on the clock.
Romania pushed hard but there were no more goals.
Game nine saw England White and Scotland join battle and it was Scotland who took an early lead through Donaghue.
Only minutes later David Joiner scored the equaliser for England.
England seemed in control early in the second half, but failed to score. Scotland had a couple of chances as well later on in the half, but at the final buzzer the game was still locked at 1-1 and it was on to penalties, which England claimed 2-1.
The result sent both teams through to the semi-final, with England Red crashing out of the tournament.
Judging on form, the final game of day two looked like a dress rehearsal for the tournament final as Romania and Ireland came face to face.
Both teams looked dangerous early on, with Patraulea scoring for Romania only to have the goal disallowed for shooting from inside the box.
However, Romania’s Ervin Kormos scored the first goal against Ireland in the tournament. The lead did not last long as Daly scored the equaliser for Ireland.
Ireland started the second half strongly and were rewarded with a goal through John Collins.
Romania had a couple of chances, but Daly hammered another one home to put Ireland up 3-1, and another goal took the team to 4-1. Both teams advanced to the semi-final.
With Ireland emerging as clear tournament favourites, Scotland faced quite a task in the first semi-final. Ireland started the game at a frenetic pace, with the Scottish keeper having to dance a jig to keep the shots out of goal.
Scotland managed to come back with some powerful strikes, but Ireland maintained the upper hand. Yet with neither team giving an inch, they remained locked at 0-0 going into the second half.
Ireland broke through in the first minute of the second half as Cassidy claimed one for the men in green. Cassidy made it 2-0 shortly thereafter, putting all the pressure on Scotland. And that’s how it stayed.
Judging by their previous encounter, the second semi between Romania and England White was set to be a hotly contested and heated encounter.
England started strong with a couple of powerful shots, but Romania came back strong.
However, it was Addison who put England in front. Just before the close of the first half, Patraulea scored the equaliser for Romania.
Romania drew first blood in the second half, as Kormos scored to make it 2-1. A minute later it seemed that Tom Elliot had scored the equaliser, but it was disallowed for shooting from inside the area.
However, Elliot did score the equaliser soon after. Kormos thought he had put Romania into the lead as he put the ball in the back of the net, but the referee had blown the whistle for an earlier infringement.
Shortly afterward a similar fate faced England as they also had a goal disallowed, as the game went into penalties.
Romania had claimed the two teams’ previous encounter on penalties and it proved to be a case of history repeating themselves as Romania took it 3-2 on penalties to progress to the final.
The final saw a battle between undoubtedly the top two teams in the tournament.
Ireland started well, and were rewarded with an early goal by Cassidy. The Irish had a couple more opportunities during the half, while Romania looked somewhat out of sorts.
However, the Romanians managed to hold off the Irish surge and entered the second half trailing by just one goal.
Both keepers had to do sterling work to keep the ball out, but eventually Romania managed to break through, only to have the goal disallowed for what was judged to be a shot from inside the area.
This seemed to fire up the Romanians as Kormos managed to get one past the Irish keeper to level the game at 1-1.
Both teams managed some more good shots on goal, but it was Ordolis who put Ireland back in the lead again 2-1. Romania had come back from worse during the tournament, but this seemed to be one bridge too far. The team had one last opportunity as Romania was awarded a free kick, but at the final buzzer Ireland celebrated as Romania applauded the worthy winners.
- For full results and team pages, visit www.caymanactive.com/eurocup.