By Richard Beale ……

The TRNC National Football side will represent their country on Saturday 9th June when they play Ukraine Region team Karpatalja in the 2018 CONIFA Cup Final.

The TRNC side overcame the favourites and current holders Padania scoring twice in the last 10 minutes to book a place in the Final.

Result : TRNC 3 PADANIA 2

Thursday June 7 : CONIFA Cup Semi Final : Colston Avenue, Carshalton.

In a repeat of last year’s Final, it was the TRNC who overcame their Italian opponents in a brave, gutsy performance in a very entertaining match.

The holders took the lead after 30 minutes when MAZZOTTI forced the ball home despite the close attention of two TRNC defenders. 0-1.

TRNC equaliser came in the 36th minute, when Kenan made progress down the left, passing to Halil, who in turn found BILLY MEHMET to score. 1-1.

The TRNC were caught off guard just before the interval when INNOCENTI scored. 1-2.

The TRNC did all the running in the second half, but it looked like the Italians would hold onto their lead.

However the TRNC had nothing to lose and piled players forward and finally the Italians cracked.

80 minutes and a cross was only partially cleared, the ball found HALIL TURAN who scored with a shot from the edge of the penalty area. 2-2.

84 minutes Substitute Ugür Gök set up Alsancak striker BILLY MEHMET to score his second goal. 3-2.

The Italians had Gianluca sent off in the 95th minute, but the TRNC held on to win a thrilling match.

There were wild scenes of celebration between the players and the many TRNC supporters.

In the other Semi Final Karpatalja beat Szekeley Land 4-2.

The Final against Karpatalja will be played at the Queen Elizabeth Football Stadium, Enfield on Saturday 9th June, kick off 6.00pm and will refereed by Mark Clanttenburg.

Photos : Arena Sporkoilk.com Ahmet Özyaşar – Recep Özkmalı KTSYD London