England 6-6 Turkey (England win 5-4 on penalties)
World Deaf Futsal Championship
Thursday 15 November 2007
After missing out a Quarter Final spot earlier in the week, England wiped off the disappointment to get back to winning ways in their play off match against Turkey in Bulgaria.
With the prospect of finishing anywhere between ninth and 16th place in the competition, Peter Sturgess’ team held their nerve after a thrilling match to win on penalties and give themselves a chance of finishing in the top ten.
In an exciting and dynamic match, which saw 12 goals in a fast game of Futsal, the Three Lions fought back from behind to show their character and pick up the win.
England goalkeeper Sam Kitchin saved Turkey’s last penalty before captain John Atkinson netted the winning spot kick to take his team into the 9th-13th place match against Macedonia.
The Three Lions had secured a 3-1 victory against Turkey last year in the European Championships and Sturgess knew England would require determination in their Futsal performance in order to overcome strong Turkish side.
England started well and Oliver Monksfield forced a real save from Turkey’s goalkeeper, as the Three Lions went in search of their first goal of the match.
However, Turkey fired ahead with two quick goals, one which was caught out by a rare mistake from Ben Lampert.
Lampert soon made amends for his mistake to give England their first goal and Taljinder Singh, returning from his suspension, forced Turkey out of England’s half with strong defending skills. Singh enjoyed a great possession of ball, which saw a chain of passes to Hogan and Atkinson, before pulling a through ball for the youngster Daniel Holdsworth to fire home his first goal of the championship, and more importantly, to keep England in the game as half time approached.
In a passionate second half, which witnessed a further eight goals between both sides, England fought back twice after going behind to Turkey, who put on an exceptional performance.
Hogan put behind his disappointing first half to fire England back into the game a first class hat-trick, his second of the Championship.
With the scores level at 5-5 and with the prospect of penalties shoot out approaching, England lost focus to see Turkey secure what seem like the winning goal on a counter attack.
However, a spark of magic from England saw Hogan link up with Lampert to create an shot on goal from Hogan, but Lampert reacted fastest to the rebound and equalise for England once again, before the end of normal time was signalled.
England were ready for the penalties though, and it was not until the tense final moment, when Kitchin saved Turkey’s last kick that England had the real hope of taking the victory in their hand. Those tense moments were finally relieved, when Atkinson secured the vital spot kick to guarantee England’s passage to the next levels, and get their sight closer onto the 9th place.
England: Sam Kitchin (GK), Daniel Holdsworth, Oliver Monksfield, Ben Lampert, Taljinder Singh, Daniel Hogan, Liam Coventry, Rowan Dixon, Alistair Dalziel, John Atkinson
Not used: Brian Green, Steven Wynne (GK).