IT Carlow and UCC suffer defeat in European Futsal Championship
IT Carlow and University College Cork were defeated in the opening day of the European University Futsal Championships in Zagreb. IT Carlow were defeated by 3-0 by Tetovo Macedonia while University College Cork went down 10-2 to the Norweigan School of Sport Sciences.
IT Carlow were beaten in their first group game by last years 7th placed team South-East European University Tetovo Macedonia. The Macedonians went 1-0 in the first minute as some clever link up play ended with a tap in for Bari at the back post.
Just two minutes later Bari got his second when a long range effort deceived Nicholaus Kantounias. However Carlow had the better of the rest of the half with chances for Darren Kavanagh who hit the post, Ben Ryan and Tom Elmes who shot just wide, then Elmes forced an excellent save from Ismaili. Irelands best chance came when a great ball from Kavanagh was taken off Alan Last with strong penalty claims. Macedonia made it 3-0 with a well worked free-kick and just after the break added a fourth. Carlow got a goal back when a well rehearsed free-kick was finished to the net by goalkeeper Kantounias.
Kantounias continued to be the hero for Carlow with four outstanding saves in a row and was denied his second goal by a full stretched save from Ismaili. Unfortunately he got injured in the process and was replaced by Shaun Pugh who was called into action immediately and saved smartly.
Ryan missed two ten meter penalties in the space of two minutes as Carlow attacked non stop but scored a cracker moments later to put his side back in contention. Pugh saved twice and Craig Wall was narrowly wide from the counter attack. Last had a great opportunity from a great Patrick Carey pass but couldn't find the target. A very exciting game came to an end with Pugh shooting narrowly over from long range.
Head Coach Paul O'Reilly said after the game "overall we are happy with the performance of the team, a poor start cost us the game, being three down after ten minutes. However the reaction from here was excellent, we felt we could have nicked the game with missing two ten metre penalties. The futsal experience of the Macedonias told, they finished seventh last year. However we have a massive challenge ahead playing the reignung champions and number one seeds Universiade de Malaga tomorrow, and we are really looking forward to the game."
IT Carlow: Nicholaus Kantounias, Tom Elmes, Patrick Carey, Ben Ryan, Darren Kavanagh, Craig Wall, Craig Sargent, Robert Farrell, Gary Sweeney, Bobby Tier, Alan Last, Shaun Pugh. Head Coach: Paul O'Reilly, Assistant Coach: Luke Hardy.
UCC womens futsal team were beaten 10-2 in their opening game today in FPE, Zagreb by the Norwegian School of Sport Sciences. The Norwegians were quick starters and UCC found themselves three goals down inside the opening nine minutes with some impressive play from Anneland and Jokstad who ended the game with a hat-trick.
UCC begun to find a way into the game however and were foiled by excellent goalkeeping on a number of occasions while Linda Douglas hit the crossbar and post. After 15 minutes UCC got the goal their play deserved when Alison Roche attacked on the left passed to Eimear Knightley who laid off to Douglas to score a well worked goal. UCC continued to create chances in what was their best spell of the game, missing six opportunities in five minutes before having a goal by Michelle Hourihan harshly disallowed from a free kick. Norway punished the Cork girls again with two late first half goals to go in a half time 6-1 up.
The humidity took effect on the players with UCC struggling to come to teams with the high temperatures, pace and power of their opponents. Two long range goals midway through the second half put the game out of sight for UCC but were rewarded when good play by Gillian Cahill was finished by the impressive Knightley. Douglas hit the post again and from the counter attack Norway scored to finish the game 10-2 winners.
Head Coach Greg Yelverton "I thought the girls took a while to adapt to the pace of the game as this competition is a step up in a level that they would be used to. We have only being playing futsal for the last year and a half and I was very proud of the girls effort even though the scoreline suggests that it was a one sided game we had our spells and its something we can work on throughout the next four games. Womens soccer in Norway is very strong and this could be seen by the physicality of the opposition today, however we can improve and the girls are confident they can give a better account of themselves in the next few games as they adjust to the step up in level and temperatures"
UCC will play their next group game against University of Rijeka (Croatia) at 9.30 am on Wednesday 21st July.
UCC: 1: Megan Morris, 2: Gillian Cahill, 3: Caitriona Nagle, 4: Michelle Hourihan, 6:Patrica Hickey, 7: Linda Douglas, 9: Aisling Brennan, 10: Eimear Knightley, 11: Alison Roche, Eimear Feerick. Head Coach Greg Yelverton, Assistant Coach Tomas Earls.