Cardiff City’s performance at the Europa Cup in Luxembourg was better than expected. The expectation at the start of the tournament was to win against St Andrews Uni (Scotland) and Roude Leiw (Luxembourg). CCKC expected that matches against the other teams would be much tougher, but remained hopeful of a close contest against Bonson (France). All match results can be found here.
Playing last on the Friday night, Cardiff had time to chill-out and absorb the atmosphere of the ‘Gymnase’; probably the biggest venue most of Cardiff’s players had to play in. Not knowing what to expect against CCO (Portugal), Cardiff fielded a strong team. The first 7 minutes of the match were very close with Cardiff equalising straight after the CCO goal. Unfortunately, CCO switched gears and started to score many goals with no answer from Cardiff.
Cardiff 5 – 15 CCO
With a tough match out of the way, Cardiff could relax and rest for Saturday’s matches. The first of the day being against OSTU (Russia). Being realistic, Cardiff knew the match would end up in defeat. Despite this, we managed to score 3 goals.
Cardiff 3 – 21 OSTU
The match vs St Andrews Uni was a must-win for Cardiff. The score throughout the match was close, with no more than 2 goals seperating the teams. After ending in a 3-3 draw at halftime, the full time score was 5-5… meaning the first golden goal of the tournament was to take place. Cardiff were unfortunate not to win during normal time, with Ramzi narrowly missing no less than 4 shots from close range. In our first golden goal attack, Ceri got away from his player and scored a medium shot. Cardiff’s defence was great and eventually got the ball back to their attack to be declared winners.
Cardiff 6 – 5 St Andrews Uni
Cardiff’s final match of the day was against Vacarisses (Catalonia). Having seen them play against other teams, Cardiff knew what to expect. Saying that, no one could ever stop their number 11, who scored 7 goals! Not much else to say really, scoring 5 goals past the Catalan is a respectable result.
Cardiff 5 – 21 Vacarisses
Sunday’s late start gave a chance for Cardiff players to recover from the night’s games; playing cheat in the hostel room and Chris correctly guessing the girl’s cup sizes… yes we all have hidden talents.
Next match: Luxembourg. Another must win for Cardiff. The star was, without a shadow of a doubt, Chris. He scored our first 5 goals of the match and kept Cardiff in the lead at half time. After a kick up the butt, Ramzi and Ceri scored some goals too and together with Luxembourg’s miss fortune (two missed penalties), Cardiff ended up winning 8-6.
Cardiff 8 – 6 Roude Leiw
Cardiff v Roude Leiw
The last match of the tournament (vs Bonson) and everyone’s legs were feeling tired. However, Cardiff were hopeful of a win. As expected, the match was close with no more than 1 goal seperating the teams at half time. After 30 minutes of play, Bonson pulled a 2 goal lead, which Cardiff could not recover. Cardiff fought hard but lost by 2 goals at full time.
Cardiff 7 – 9 Bonson
Looking back at the tournament, Cardiff should be proud of the threat they created against better teams; CCO, Russia and Vacarisses all fielded their strongest teams against us, meaning they regarded us highly. The two wins of the weekend were well deserved as Cardiff played as one strong unit. The loss against Bonson was unfortunate, but the french’s skills and experience was too much for Cardiff.
Cardiff finished a respectable 5th (with 5 points) out of the 7 teams present. Congrats to Chris for being Cardiff’s highest scorer of the weekend and 7th highest scorer of everyone (out of 74 scorers).