EUSA FutsalFollow Brunel University at the EUSA Futsal Championship
10 Aug 2015
Brunel bow out but can hold their heads high
The last game of the tournament for Brunel today, and their opponents were Waterford of Ireland, a college with a prestigious footballing background, but relatively new to Futsal.
Match report vs Waterford, Ireland - 8th August 2015
Brunel went into the game hopeful of a win, however with both teams well beaten by the Ukrainians, and with tired minds and bodies, it was always going to be close.
The match started fairly evenly, with both teams having a share of possession, but also making silly mistakes with their passing, which had it been day 1 and the players been fresh, probably would not have happened.
With both teams feeling their way into the game, and desperate for a moral boosting win, there were no chances early on, with neither team wanting to make a crucial mistake. Brunel did however, with five minutes gone, finally string some attacking passes together, fastening a chance for Jake, but his shot was well saved by the Irish goalie. Waterford then broke back, but Sykes managed to keep them out at the near post. Unfortunately for Brunel, in what had become a familiar story, they then lapsed in concentration at the back, a long ball was played over their last man to a free attacker, who squared it first time for his on rushing teammate to volley home, 0-1.
With Brunel shell shocked, the Irish then played another long ball over the top that caught the Brunel team upfield, and again finished well to double their lead. Brunel soon realised that they weren't going to be handed this on a platter, and started to string some attacking combinations together that troubled Waterford. A great one two on the right touch line set Pedro free, and he finished to pull the score back to 1-2.
Determined to make life hard for themselves, Brunel then conceded a free kick in a dangerous position, but Sykes saved the initial shot well, before the Irish hit the post with the follow up. With five minutes of the half remaining, Brunel stepped it up a gear, Furman having a good shot well saved, before Rodolfo stole possession mid court, and finished calmly into the bottom corner, 2-2.
Having come from behind, Brunel then pressed for a lead to take into half time, Jake beating his man well with a tricky step over, before firing a shot wide. However, when the Irish keeper was punished for holding on to the ball for too long, Brunel made no mistake from the resulting set piece, hammering the ball home to make it 3-2 at half time.
Half Time - 3-2
With the lead in place, all Brunel had to do to secure victory was to keep their shape in defence, be safe with possession, and take any chances that came their way. The half did not start as planned though, with Brunel sloppily losing the ball on halfway, to set two Irish players through on goal, but this time Lady Luck was very much shining on the team in yellow, as the Irish player shot wide with the goal at his mercy.
It was then Brunel's turn to break and Henrique showed the Waterford lads just how it is done, making no mistake from a central position to give Brunel a two goal cushion, 4-2. Not settling for 4, Furman then ran on to a sneaky chip over the top, only to see his shot run agonisingly past the far post and out for a goal kick.
With the game seemingly in the bag, Brunel then gave the Irish a life line, losing possession and setting three Irish players off towards the Brunel goal. With Sykes outnumbered there was only going to be one out come, 4-3, game on.
In a frantic game, that was end to end in attack, and characterised by some carelessness in possession, it was then Brunel's turn to respond, Nathan making a good break and beating the on rushing keeper to restore Brunel's two goal lead, 5-3. They think it's all over?
It certainly isn't! Ireland launched another attack, and swung a left footed shot past Sykes to make the score 5-4, and put the team from the Emerald Isle right back in it.
With so much pride at stake this was always going to be a fiery game, and this was evident when the Irish bought Yahya down to pick up their fifth foul with 9 minutes of the game still to be played. With the Irish walking a tightrope, Furman beautifully beat his man on the left before sending a rasping shot into the top corner, the magic left boot had struck again, 6-4 with 6 minutes to go. Surely nothing could take this game from Brunel now?
Wrong (unfortunately!). As had been the case in previous games, when a lack of concentration and awareness had cost Brunel, this game was to be no exception, with the team conceding two goals in the last 4 minutes, to mean that the tie finished a 6-6 draw and went straight to penalties.
With Ireland on the up going into the penalties, and Brunel's confidence deflated having thrown away a two goal lead, there was only going to be one winner; the Irish taking the shootout with a 3-1 victory.
A disappointing way to lose the last game of the tournament for Brunel, especially after such a positive start with a victory in the first match. However, there is no denying that the team have grown against superior opposition, and will use these learning points to ensure that they hit the ground running when the BUCS season starts in October...watch out Brighton!
8 Aug 2015
Player Blog 3 - Inside the camp with Brunel Captain Omar
As we reach our 7th night in Poznan it is safe to say time is 'flying' and it is only heading in one direction; Luton Airport. However the same cannot be said for our emotions.
We have had it all; the highs of winning, the lows of defeat and utter frustration of waiting for Jake and Nathan to get out of bed every morning.
Having played three games in three days the boys earned a well deserved rest day on Wednesday where we went into town and explored the Poznan square. Some of the boys then went to spend the rest of the afternoon at a local water park where competitive spirits were high as everyone aimed to clock the fastest time to get from the top to the bottom of the slide; It has been said that Alex emerged victorious.
Usually, we tend to recover from a match day with some passive stretches, introduced by our coach Sandro, and he has the boys stretching muscles in areas they never knew about. The food has been good as well, especially because we get served by friendly kitchen staff every day. However myself, Furman and Yaya could kill for some meat. We have been vegetarians for seven days as the meat served is not halal, and we have promised each other that Nando’s is our first stop when we return home!
The level of competition this year is really impressive, and when Pedro is not defending himself from the accusations of being the toilet roll thief, he is the first to encourage the boys to watch some good futsal. He is a massive fan of how the Croatian's play (last year’s runners up), whereas many of the rest are particularly impressed with the French (last year’s winners) – no surprise that they are the two favourites again this year.
All the athletes live in the same student accommodation, and when the canteen is closed or there are no matches on, you can find everyone by the wifi zone like a swarm of bees. You will be surprised to know that many come to socialise and are not actually glued to their handsets. In fact, one of the highlights of this tournament for me, aside from the futsal, is meeting so many people from different parts of Europe and its fascinating learn about their culture. Whether that is greeting the French with Bonjour, or a couple of cheek kisses with Turkish team, I feel as if I these last few days has opened my eyes to so much in the world that I was unaware of.
We are now preparing to face Ireland tomorrow after a disappointing result against the Ukraine, and although there is not much left to play for, one can expect a really competitive game.
From everyone here in Poznan, Dziękuję for following the blogs and make sure to follow @brunelstudent
7 Aug 2015
Sumy State hit Brunel for 10
Brunel had an extra days rest which they were hoping to make count against Sumy State from the Ukraine, in today's 10am second round match. However having watched their opponents destroy the Irish yesterday, they knew it was going to be a tough ask.
Match Reportvs Sumy State University - 7th August 2015
After an early breakfast, the team were well prepared and raring to go. The Ukrainians started well, keeping possession and working their way into the game, however Brunel maintained their defensive shape and kept them at bay in the early stages. Unfortunately for their loyal spectators, Brunel were unable to sustain the pressure for much longer, with the Ukrainian attacker beating his man on the left before crossing to the unmarked man in the middle, 1-0.
Brunel did their best to launch a fight back, Furman hitting a left footed shot that the keeper palmed away for a corner. However, with Brunel pushing forward in search of an equaliser, the Ukrainians stole possession and launched a quick counter, hitting the post as Brunel breathed a sigh of relief that the score remained 1-0.
Jake and Rodolfo then played a sharp one-two, fooling their defender, before the shot was fired wide. Brunel continued to press and worked two 3 on 1 breaks, only for their final pass to let them down at the critical moment. At this level you have to make your chances count, and the Ukrainians showed the team from London how it is done, launching a clinical break and making it two nil.
Brunel again had a couple of chances to get back into the game, Furman having a shot and rebound saved from a free kick in a dangerous position, and Henrique latching on to a ball over the top before shooting wide.
With 6 minutes of the half to play, Sumy again showed their superiority in attack, with some quick passing catching the Brunel defence sleeping, and making the score a comfortable 3-0.
With Brunel pushing more men forward in search of a match changing goal, they were leaving themselves increasingly vulnerable to the oppositions quick break, and were reliant on Sykes keeping the scoreline down before half time. Unfortunately this resilience could only last so long, and the Ukranians added a couple to their total to make it 5-0.
If Brunel thought they could turn things around in the second half, their confidence was severely tested by an opening Sumy break which made it 6 before many spectators had even taken their seat.
Brunel then managed to regain their composure, and a great ball over the top from Patrick set the attacker free, only for the left foot shot to fire over the bar. Brunel continued to come back into the game and Jake had a good low shot that the goalie turned away for corner. Unfortunately for Brunel, their failure to put their chances away meant the scoreline was always going to be heavily one sided.
Ukraine were then awarded a free kick for a contentious hand ball, but there was nothing contentious about their set play routine, as they made it 7. Brunel continued to have lots of possession but failed to make clear cut chances, or trouble the Sumy defence. Furman had a shot from the edge of the area which was well saved, and Patrick also went close, but when the score is in the record books, neither of these narrow misses will be recorded.
The game continued to be lively, and when Brunel broke 2 on 1, a tough body check on Rodolfo had the team screaming for a red card. The ref only awarded a yellow, and the Ukranians had a chance to regroup for the free kick which came to nothing.
With the job all but done for Sumy, Brunel continued to pressure, keeper Sykes picking up the ball near halfway before driving forward and having a shot saved. Jake also went through before shooting wide. Sykes then saved well at the other end, before Jake had another shot that went wide.
With 1 minute to go and the game secure, Ukraine went fly and took full advantage of the extra man, making it 8 before the final whistle.
Just when you thought the match was over, Brunel then, as per the previous game, got a late consolation, with Pedro hammering a shot into the top corner. However, with tired legs and minds, Brunel then switched off in defence and Ukraine scored 2 more to make it 10-1, final score.
With a crucial game against the Irish tomorrow, nothing but a win is required to restore lost pride and confidence. With key players touch and go due to injury, it is bound to be a close, physical game, that is worth tuning in for, 9 am UK time.
6 Aug 2015
Brunel Drawn in Group H
The draw for the second stage of the competition is done seeing Brunel placed in Group H
With Brunel missing out on qualifying for the top half of the draw by only 1 point, it meant that they were left to rue their missed opportunities against Lyon in game 2, when a draw was well within their grasp.
They are now fighting it out for a decent mid table placing, and can finish no higher than 17th. This will still be no easy feat however, with strong teams such as the Ukraine and Turkey, also failing to make it out if their qualifying group.
Brunel now face another round robin group, and have been placed with Waterford from Ireland, and Sumy State from the Ukraine. With the first game between Waterford and Sumy taking place this morning, the Ukranian team have already stamped their authority on the group, beating the Irish 10-4, and showing the watching Brunel that they have plenty left in the tank,
It is Brunel's turn to fight back tomorrow, when they will face Sumy State at 10am (9am UK time). Brunel will be hoping to make the extra days rest count, with a 2 hour training session scheduled for this afternoon, followed by plenty of food and an early night to ensure they are as ready as they can be come game day tomorrow!
5 Aug 2015
Disappointing day for the team vs Armenian State University
With Brunel needing a draw or win to see them into the top half of the draw, the team were quietly confident going into the match against the Armenian State University (A.S.U.). Pre match plans were rocked however, when a couple of key players, including captain Omar, were deemed unfit having picked up knocks in previous games.
Match Report vs Armenian State University - 4th August 2015
Brunel started with the ball, trying to ease their way into the match, however A.S.U. were needing a win, and were up for this one, nicking possession on halfway before launching a lethal counter attack to make the score 1-0 within one minute.
Not happy with just one, A.S.U. broke again to double their total, and make the score 2-0 within as many minutes, leaving Brunel shell shocked. Omar had seen enough, and took his place on court to try and help out his team, unfortunately however, his injury was just too severe, and he was forced to retire to the bench for the rest of the game.
Brunel looked to regain their composure, keeping possession and getting the ball out to Nathan who weaved past two defenders before his powerful shot was saved by the A.S.U. keeper. Rodolfo also struck the bar with a long range left footed shot during a good spell of Brunel pressure, however the difference in finishing between the two teams was once again evident as A.S.U. went down the other end and scored to make it 3-0.
The Armenian team were desperate to make it four before half time, knowing all to well that the final group standings may come down to goal difference, and with minutes to go, they hit a rasping shot towards the top corner, only for their OWN player to head it off the goal line - Brunel weren't complaining however, as the way the match was going, they would take any help that they could get.
Half Time 3-0
Half time gave Brunel the chance to regroup in the changing room, and they came out of the blocks on the hunt for an early goal. An energetic high press almost worked wonders, with the loose ball just not falling for Nathan near the opposition's goal. With confidence growing, Brunel started to have more of the ball, hitting the post from a central position, before Rodolfo and Jake combined well to get a shot away that was comfortably dealt with by the Armenian keeper.
As Brunel continued to enjoy possession, A.S.U. sat back, looking to play on the counter that had worked so well for them so far. Once again, a loose Brunel pass was seized upon, and as he bore down on goal, the Armenian player was bought down in a promising position. Sykes kept out the free kick, but could only watch as the team from Armenia went through three on goal, only to hit the shot against the post in a rare finishing error. The score didn't remain at 3 for long though, as the next time A.S.U. made no mistake in making it 4.
The fifth was not long after, and was the result of some unenviable Brunel defending, resulting in an own goal, and a helping hand that their opponents really didn't need.
As the end of the game approached, there was still time for Armenia to make it 6, before Brunel got the consolation that they needed to raise spirits going into the next match. It came courtesy, one again, of Furman's magic left boot, 6-1 final score.
A disappointing day in the office, but with no game tomorrow there is plenty of time to regroup, treat any niggles, and get ready to go again on Thursday.
Keep sending your words of encouragement to the team using the hashtag #BrunelFutsal, @brunelstudents