Earlier this evening near Prague, Belgium defeated the Czech Republic 2 – 0 to win 5-a-side football’s 2014 IBSA Euro Challenge Cup.
The Czech coach Jiří Kotrč chose to start his team with sighted goalkeeper Kricfalusi, and visually impaired field players Mrazek, Babický, Mysliveček, Ondra, Moravec and Fenz. The Belgians took the field with Richir in goal, and Bommert, Eilers, Dortu, Rodens, Kevin Vanderborght, Wespes and Jean-Michel Bertinchamps on the field.
The Czech side kicked off to start the game. Possession was traded early in the first few minutes, with Vanderborght getting the first real shot on goal in the sixth minute. After that, the game was played in the middle of the field for a few minutes before Mrazek had the Czech Republic’s first shot. A minute later, the Belgians took a time out. Following the time out, Vanderborght scored the game’s first goal at minute twelve. The team continued to control the ball following their goal and get shots on goal. At the eighteenth minute, the Czech coach requested a timeout. The Czechs were able to get a corner kick in the twenty-second minute, but did nothing with it. Play then moved to the center of the field before the period ended at minute twenty-five.
The Belgians started the second half with the ball. Vanderborght had several more shots at goal before the Czech side made a substitution in the thirty-first minute. The Belgians continued to take shots at goal, including one sailed only an inch above the top of the goal. In minute thirty-six, Vanderborght’s continual shooting paid off with a second goal. Shortly after that, the Czech side called a time out. The Belgians continued to hold possession and get shots at goal. Late in the game, Mrazek got possession for the Czech side but was unable to capitalize with a goal. Belgium got the ball back with little time left but were unable to score.
In the third place match, Poland easily beat Hungary 4 – 1 after taking a 4 – 0 lead into the end of the first half. Przemyslaw Kowalewski scored all four goals for the Polish side. Stvan Szabo scored Hungary’s lone goal with three minutes left in the second half. In the fifth place match, Moldova beat Romania on penalty kicks after going 0 – 0 in regulation time. Tarita Ion scored Moldova’s lone goal in the 1 -0 penalty kick stage.
The 2014 IBSA Euro Challenge Cup was created as an opportunity for new and developing European teams to gain valuable international experience, and to assist with the development of the game in those countries.