#Abkhazia2016 Match Summaries – Day 8

The 2016 World Football Cup concluded on Sunday, with home side Abkhazia lifting the trophy in front of a packed Dinamo Stadium in Sukhum. In the last remaining placement game, meanwhile, Northern Cyprus beat Padania 2-0 to claim third overall. Check out our full match wraps and video highlights below.

Abkhazia 1 – 1 Panjab (Abkhazia won 6-5 on penalties), Sukhum

Abkhazia is tonight celebrating after a remarkable come from behind victory over Panjab saw them secure the 2016 World Football Cup. The hosts twice looked out of the game – firstly when they were trailing 1-0 in the 86th minute, and again when they were two penalties down in the shoot-out. But a stranger-than-fiction turn of events saw Abkhazia equalise to send the game to spot-kicks, and then complete a penalty great escape to triumph in Sukhum.

Padania 0 – 2 Northern Cyprus, Sukhum

Northern Cyprus secured third place at the 2016 World Football Cup with a 2-0 win over Padania in Sukhum. Under the blazing sun and with both teams having played yesterday, the first half was a slow affair highlighted by a close flyby from a helicopter just before the break.

The Northern Cypriots scored early in the second half, clattering the ball in from two yards out to take a lead they would never relinquish. A second goal came at the 80-minute mark, with a strong break and nice pass facilitating an easy finish.

Padania fought hard but without their suspended star striker, Matteo Prandelli, they lacked attacking potency. The Italian side end their 2016 World Football Cup campaign in fourth.

 

Final Rankings

1. Abkhazia
2. Panjab
3. Northern Cyprus
4. Padania
5. Sapmi
6. Western Armenia
7. United Koreans of Japan
8. Kurdistan
9. Szekely Land
10. Somaliland
11. Raetia
12. Chagos Islands

Sunday’s two games conclude the #Abkhazia2016 World Football Cup. For further tournament content, be sure to follow our social media channels: InstagramFacebook and Twitter.

#Abkhazia2016 Match Summaries – Day 4

The knock-out stage of the 2016 CONIFA World Football Cup began on Wednesday, with two games in Sukhum. Check out our full match wraps below.

Northern Cyprus 1 – 1 United Koreans of Japan (Northern Cyprus won 4-2 on penalties), Sukhum

There was heartbreak at Dinamo Stadium for the United Koreans of Japan, after they lost to tournament heavyweights Northern Cyprus on penalties. Despite being the better team for the latter part of the game, two saved spot-kicks consigned the Koreans to placement games while Northern Cyprus proceeded to the semi-final.

FC Korea midfielder On Songtae was distraught following the loss: “I am very disappointed. We had more chances than our opposition, and played much better than during our first two games of the tournament. But we just could not convert opportunities – that was our problem today.”

Northern Cyprus will now face Abkhazia in the second semi-final on Saturday.

 

Abkhazia 2 – 0 Sapmi, Sukhum

Abkhazia have affirmed their status as tournament favourites with another commanding win in Sukhum, putting two goals past Sapmi in the evening game. A goalkeeper error on a corner allowed Abkhazia in for the opener midway through the first-half, before a late penalty sealed the win.

Sapmi coach Morten Pedersen, who had a lengthy professional career across Europe, fronted the press following his side’s loss. “The atmosphere was perfect for such an important match,” Pedersen explained. “I was hoping we could keep the game level until half-time, and then the home side would start to feel some pressure, but they scored a lucky goal and the game got away from us.”

Pedersen’s side were given perhaps the toughest route to #Abkhazia2016 triumph after finishing second in their group. Asked whether he considered his side unfortunate to play hosts Abkhazia so early in the knock-out rounds, the coach did not look for excuses. “This is what happens when you do not win your group,” Pedersen continued. “I am glad we could play Abkhazia, in front of such a great audience, but I am very disappointed we were unable to hold them out and convert our chances.”

For Abkhazia coach Beslan Adjinjal, a third consecutive win only cemented his confidence in the team’s ability to secure the 2016 World Football Cup trophy. “We are absolutely confident of continuing our winning run,” he affirmed. “We are at home here, and everything is pushing us to victory.”

 

On Thursday 2 May, Kurdistan face Padania in the third quarter-final at 3pm local time (GMT+3). Panjab then tackle Western Armenia at 8pm local time to decide the last semi-final place. Both games are in Sukhum. Gagra then hosts two placement games: Chagos Islands v Somaliland (11am local time) and Szekely Land v Raetia (3pm local time). Watch all games live on SolidTango or follow match updates on MobStats. Also be sure to follow our tournament updates on social media: InstagramFacebook and Twitter.

#Abkhazia2016 Match Summaries – Day 7

The semi-finals of the 2016 CONIFA World Football Cup were held on Saturday in Sukhum, while exciting two placement games took place in Gagra. Check out our full match wraps below.

Panjab 1 – 0 Padania, Sukhum

Panjab booked their ticket to the Final after a hard-fought 1-0 win over Padania in Sukhum.

A large crowd watched Panjab and Padania grind through a tense first half, with few chances for either side before the break. The second stanza started more positively for Padania, creating some decent opportunities immediately after the restart.

However, Panjab broke the deadlock following a strong move in the box which led to a shot off the bar and, in the ensuing scramble, Rio Riaz headed home the game’s only goal. Panjab then held strong for the remaining minutes to continue their unbeaten run. In a sour moment just before full-time, a Padania player received a second yellow card and was sent-off for acting aggressively towards an opponent.

“It was a tough game,” said Panjab FA President Harpreet Singh. “Padania are quality. Football is in their DNA. But for tomorrow, we are confident.”

The British-based team, who represent the Panjab region of India and Pakistan, have upset several more fancied opponents during the tournament. They will face Abkhazia in the Final on Sunday.

 

Abkhazia 2 – 0 Northern Cyprus, Sukhum

A tale of two semi-finals. While Panjab v Padania was a defensive affair, the evening match between hosts Abkhazia and Northern Cyprus was 90 minutes of flowing, attacking football.

The Cypriots began the game by showing the local fans their appreciation, gifting them with roses and footballs. The fans applauded gratefully, but once the whistle blew the fans’ love was for Abkhazia only. The match featured great skill from both sides, with mazy runs, dribbling trickery and an attempted overhead scissor kick. It was the home team, however, that would provide the finish.

A scramble in the box led to a first-half goal, while after the break Abkhazia’s second strike was all class. A perfectly weighted deep ball was followed up with a deft lob over the keeper.

The stadium was at capacity again, as it will surely be on Sunday night when the Abkhazians play for World Football Cup glory in front of their passionate home fans.

 

Kurdistan 1 – 1 United Koreans of Japan (won 2-4 on penalties), Gagra

The United Koreans of Japan avenged their quarter-final penalty heartbreak by beating tournament heavyweights Kurdistan to finish seventh overall, converting four spot-kicks to two in Gagra following a one-all draw.

In a spectacular finish to the seventh place playoff, Kurdistan looked to have sealed victory when the game entered injury time with the Kurds 1-0 up. But a quick free-kick in the 94th minute saw the United Koreans of Japan equalise, sending the game to a spot-kick finish. With both teams losing on penalties already in the tournament, the shoot-out was destined to be particularly tense. Ultimately the United Koreans held their nerve, finding the net four times to seal the result.

 

Sapmi 3 – 0 Western Armenia, Gagra

In the afternoon game in Gagra, a dominant Sapmi ran out 3-nil victors over Western Armenia to secure fifth place at #Abkhazia2016.

 

On Sunday 5 June, Panjab face Abkhazia at 7pm local time (GMT+3) in the #Abkhazia2016 Final. Earlier, at 3pm local time, Padania play Northern Cyprus in the third place playoff. Watch both games live on SolidTango or follow match updates on MobStats. Also be sure to follow our tournament updates on social media: InstagramFacebook and Twitter.

#Abkhazia2016 Match Summaries – Day 6

Sápmi 2 – 1 United Koreans of Japan

As the tournament gets closer to the end, the matches get closer and closer each day. That was no difference in today’s right matchup between FA Sápmi and United Koreans of Japan, with Sápmi squeaking by with a 2-1 victory.

Su Yong Kim opened the scoring only 65 seconds in and United Koreans of Japan looked to control play. However, Sápmi tied the game up before Jørgen Nilsen Jerijärvi scored a wonder goal to lead Sápmi to a come-from-behind 2-1 victory.

Sápmi now goes on to the 5/6 match while United Koreans of Japan will play for 7/8 tomorrow.

Raetia 3 (4) – (3) 3 Chagos Islands

Fans were treated to a highly entertaining match in Gagra this afternoon with FA Raetia defeating Chagos Islands after a marathon shootout. In a back and forth affair, the score was 3-3 after 90 exciting minutes with each team holding the lead multiple times.

The shootout was equally nail biting with numerous saves and misses until the Raetia keeper made a tough diving stop to secure the victory. With the win, FA Raetia finishes the Abkhazia 2016 World Football Cup in 11th place while neophytes Chagos Islands end the tournament in 12th.

Western Armenia 0 (6) – (5) 0 Kurdistan

The last game of the night was a real thriller, with two evenly-matched teams playing in Western Armenia and Kurdistan. The match started with equal chances but quickly tilted in Kurdistan’s favour and they kept their foot on the gas throughout.

Kurdistan had a heavy edge in possession and chances but Western Armenia’s defence stayed resolute and the score was 0-0 edging towards to end of full time.

Kurdistan changed keepers in the 90th minute, putting in a penalty specialist but their strategy was to backfire in the most dramatic fashion. Down 6-5 and needing to score to stay alive, the substitute keeper himself took the last penalty, shooting high and securing victory for Western Armenia, and sending the pro-Armenian fans into raptures.

Western Armenia will now play Sápmi in the 5/6 match tomorrow in Gagra while United Koreans of Japan and Kurdistan will battle for 7th and 8th.

Szekely Land 10 – 3 Somaliland

Szekely Land finishes 9th and Somiland 10th in the #Ablhazia2016 World Football Cup.

Match report to follow.

#Abkhazia2016 Match Summaries – Day 5

The knock-out stage of the 2016 CONIFA World Football Cup continued on Thursday, with two games in Sukhum. Gagra, meanwhile, hosted two placement games. Check out our full match wraps below.

Kurdistan 2 – 2 Padania (Padania won 7-6 on penalties), Sukhum

Padania upset tournament heavyweights Kurdistan in Sukhum following a nail-biting penalty shoot-out finish, securing progress to the semi-finals.

The Italian side went ahead early through a beautiful free-kick in the 12th minute, but Kurdistan were soon back on level pegging. Another Kurdish goal followed, giving the side an advantage entering half-time, before Padania scored again midway through the second stanza to force the match to penalties.

The sides were locked at four goals apiece after regulation penalties, with a series of tense sudden-death spot-kicks ensuing. Kurdistan missed on their eight attempt, but Padania’s final penalty taker made no mistake, sealing the win for CONIFA’s European champions.

Padania will now face Panjab in the first semi-final on Saturday.

 

Western Armenia 2 – 3 Panjab, Sukhum

Panjab continued their dream run at the 2016 World Football Cup, surviving a Western Armenia comeback to claim a semi-final berth in Sukhum. The British-based team, who represent the Panjab region of India and Pakistan, have been the tournament’s surprise package with wins over both Sapmi and Somaliland prior to the quarter-final.

A first-half hat-trick to Darlington striker Amar Purewal looked to have secured Panjab a third consecutive win, before two Western Armenia goals raised hopes of a thrilling comeback. Panjab’s defence held in the final minutes, though, to ensure them a clash with Padania in the next round.

“Our manager told us to start defensively, so we certainly did not expect to go three goals up so quickly,” explained midfielder Amaruir Sandhu at the post-match press conference. “Then we just had to hold on.”

 

Somaliland 3 – 2 Chagos Islands, Gagra
Those attending match seventeen in Gagra were treated to a thriller and the biggest comeback of #Abkhazia2016 so far. Somaliland and Chagos Islands met in a battle between fan favourites, with Somaliland squeaking out a 3-2 win.

Chagos Islands scored their first goal of the tournament early in the match and followed that up with a second shortly after the halftime break. However Somaliland stormed back with three straight strikes, including a brace by forward Moebarik Mohamed, to secure a comeback victory.

The energy of the crowd helped fuel Somaliland to victory, according to their players, who have have gained a lot of love from the locals in Gagra. “They really took to us and we took to them, as well,” said centre-half Guiled Aden. “They have pretty much adopted us.”

Sabrina Jean, coordinator and founder of the Chagos Islands side, lamented her side’s injury woes but loved the effort she saw on the pitch. “A win or loss for our team, I’m very proud of our boys,” she said. “They play with their heart.”

Unfortunately due to technical difficulties no highlights are available from this game.

Szekely Land 7 – 0 Raetia, Gagra

The afternoon clash in Gagra was a decidedly more one-sided affair, with Szekely Land putting a couple of disappointing results behind them to beat Raetia 7-0. The crowd’s enthusiasm held strong throughout the match, cheering equally hard for the last-minute penalty as they did for the opener.

Despite the result, one Raetia fan went home happy: six-year old Muscovite Vanya has been a diehard FA Raetia fan since coming across the team on Facebook at the tender age of four. His parents brought him from Moscow to watch his heroes play in Gagra.

Sporting his handmade “I ❤️ Raetia” shirt, Vanya cheered for the squad. After the match the players hoisted the child on their shoulders and gave him a game-worn jersey, as well as signing Vanya’s prized t-shirt. Fan and players alike, embodying the spirit of the CONIFA World Football Cup.

 

On Friday 3 June, United Koreans of Japan face Sapmi at 3pm local time (GMT+3). Kurdistan then tackle Western Armenia at 8pm local time. Both games are in Sukhum. Gagra then hosts two further placement games: Chagos Islands v Raetia (11am local time) and Szekely Land v Somaliland (3pm local time). Watch all games live on SolidTango or follow match updates on MobStats. Also be sure to follow our tournament updates on social media: InstagramFacebook and Twitter.

Now So Many Ways to View the CONIFA World Football Cup!

The Abkhazia 2016 World Football Cup is now into the knockout stages and the action is heating up!  With the quarter-finals today and the semi-finals and finals only a few days away, we have created a host of ways you can keep up with the action:

Live Streaming

Don’t want to miss a minute of the action? We don’t blame you! You can live stream using CONIFA TV from Solidtango.

Get VIP Live All Access to every match for only €18

Social Media

Stay close to the action with our social media channels:

Match Tracking with Mobstats

Join the conversation with fellow fans and check out the live match tracking using Mobstats:

#Abkhazia2016 Match Summaries – Day 4

The knock-out stage of the 2016 CONIFA World Football Cup began on Wednesday, with two games in Sukhum. Check out our full match wraps below.

Northern Cyprus 1 – 1 United Koreans of Japan (Northern Cyprus won 4-2 on penalties), Sukhum

There was heartbreak at Dinamo Stadium for the United Koreans of Japan, after they lost to tournament heavyweights Northern Cyprus on penalties. Despite being the better team for the latter part of the game, two saved spot-kicks consigned the Koreans to placement games while Northern Cyprus proceeded to the semi-final.

FC Korea midfielder On Songtae was distraught following the loss: “I am very disappointed. We had more chances than our opposition, and played much better than during our first two games of the tournament. But we just could not convert opportunities – that was our problem today.”

Northern Cyprus will now face Abkhazia in the second semi-final on Saturday.

Abkhazia 2 – 0 Sapmi, Sukhum

Abkhazia have affirmed their status as tournament favourites with another commanding win in Sukhum, putting two goals past Sapmi in the evening game. A goalkeeper error on a corner allowed Abkhazia in for the opener midway through the first-half, before a late penalty sealed the win.

Sapmi coach Morten Pedersen, who had a lengthy professional career across Europe, fronted the press following his side’s loss. “The atmosphere was perfect for such an important match,” Pedersen explained. “I was hoping we could keep the game level until half-time, and then the home side would start to feel some pressure, but they scored a lucky goal and the game got away from us.”

Pedersen’s side were given perhaps the toughest route to #Abkhazia2016 triumph after finishing second in their group. Asked whether he considered his side unfortunate to play hosts Abkhazia so early in the knock-out rounds, the coach did not look for excuses. “This is what happens when you do not win your group,” Pedersen continued. “I am glad we could play Abkhazia, in front of such a great audience, but I am very disappointed we were unable to hold them out and convert our chances.”

For Abkhazia coach Beslan Adjinjal, a third consecutive win only cemented his confidence in the team’s ability to secure the 2016 World Football Cup trophy. “We are absolutely confident of continuing our winning run,” he affirmed. “We are at home here, and everything is pushing us to victory.”

On Thursday 2 May, Kurdistan face Padania in the third quarter-final at 3pm local time (GMT+3). Panjab then tackle Western Armenia at 8pm local time to decide the last semi-final place. Both games are in Sukhum. Gagra then hosts two placement games: Chagos Islands v Somaliland (11am local time) and Szekely Land v Raetia (3pm local time). Watch all games live on SolidTango or follow match updates on MobStats. Also be sure to follow our tournament updates on social media: Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.