By Richard Beale ……

The National TRNC Football team suffered heartache as they were beaten 3-2 in a penalty shootout after the match finished 0-0 after normal time. This is the second consecutive year that the TRNC have reached a CONIFA Cup Final and on each occasion they have lost in penalty shoot outs.

Result : TRNC 0 KARPATALYA 0 (Karpatalya win 3-2 on penalties)

Saturday June 10 : CONIFA Cup Final 2018 : Queen Elizabeth Stadium, Enfield.

The TRNC team and flags of both countries

So near yet so far, but the TRNC team can hold their heads up high as they proudly represented their country in this year’s competition.

The Final, which was officiated by well known FIFA Referee Mark Clattenburg, failed to live up to expectations as both defences dominated the game.

The two sides met earlier in the Group stages of this competition with the match ending 1-1. Karpatalya represents the Hungarian minority living in the Carpathia – Ruthenia district of  Ukraine.

It was a very cagey affair, the nearest there was to a goal in the first half came when a Sandros long range effort shaved the TRNC crossbar.

The TRNC also hit the woodwork in the second half when Alsancak striker Billy Mehmet slammed a shot against the Karpatalya post

Both Goalkeepers saw little action, until they were called upon in the “penalty shoot out” as the match ended after 90 minutes 0-0, with no extra time in this competition.

Goalkeepers in action in the penalty shootout ! Left TRNC Hasan Piro and right Bela Fejer of Karpatalya.

The TRNC were always up against it in the penalty shoot outs as they missed their first 2 penalties and Karpatalya converted theirs. The Ukraine side then missed their next 2 penalties to give the TRNC a faint glimmer of hope, but Svedjuk converted his side’s last penalty to land Karpatalya the 2018 CONIFA Cup.

Depressed and happy !

All photos : arena sporkol.com/ Ahmet Özyaşar – Recep Özkmalı – KTSYD London.

TRNC team : Hasan Piro (gk) : Yasin Kurt, Sehan Önet, Ahmet Sönmez, Cagri Kiral, Unal Kaya, Firat Ersalan, Ugür Gök (Kenan Oshan), Tansel Ekıngel (Arif Uysal), Halil Turan, Billy Mehmet.