There was another terrific atmosphere at the Queen Elizabeth II Stadium on Saturday for Abkhazia v Karpatalya and, in particular, for Northern Cyprus v Tibet, when the estimated crowd was around the 1,500 mark (official attendance figure to follow in due course).
Abkhazia 0 Karpatalya 2
In the first game the current CONIFA World Football Cup holders were put to the sword by another impressive Karpatalya performance, who emerged as 2-0 victors. After ten minutes the yellow-shirted Karpatalya took an early lead, Zsult Gajdos' right-footed effort from the edge of box took a deflection and found its way into the back of the net past keeper Aleksei Bondarenko. Abkhazia squandered a number of chances and went in a goal down at the break.
Abkhazia continued to bombard the Karpatalya goal in the second half, but were somehow kept out. In the 67th minute Istvan Sandor almost scored his side's second after hitting the post while, at the opposite end, Ruslan Akhvlendiani’s header was somehow tipped over by Bela Fejer Csongoron a few minutes later. But Sandor wrapped up the game and three points for Karpatalya, as his shot from 20 yards out flew into the net.
Tibet 1-3 Northern Cyprus
Barely a minute into the game, Northern Cyprus went a goal up. A ball played over the top was controlled and slotted into the back of the net by Halil Turan. For the remainder of the first half hour Northern Cyprus were wasteful in front of goal and underdogs Tibet slowly began to find their rhythm in the game. Four minutes before the break, Tibet equalised and triggered mass scenes of jubilation inside QEII Stadium. Kalsang Topgyal got the final touch from a few yards out to make it 1-1.
Tibet resumed the second 45 minutes with a good tempo, as they continued to test the Cypriots'defensive abilities. But then, in the 66th minute, Turan scored his and Northern Cyprus’ second, to make it 2-1, when his finish from inside the box was helped in by the gloves of the Tibet goalkeeper. Finally, with less than 16 minutes to play Northern Cyprus claimed all three-points whenUgur Naci Gok’s chip from inside the box after he was played through rolled into the back of the net, to finish off a great afternoon in the sun.
- Aaron Patel
Updated 12:22 - 3 Jun 2018 by Ken Brazier