A suspended Alex Tringham and a team carrying a lot of knocks meant we went into the game with a massive disadvantage in terms of numbers. To put it into perspective, the Norwegians had more subs than we had total players.
Despite this we put in a great performance in a physically challenging game. We conceded two soft goals early on but soon forced our way back into the match.
Trying to utilise their numerical advantage, they pressed us high all game but we absorbed this pressure well. Playing it around at the back we were able to draw them into our half and create space in behind for the counter. This was the formula for both of our goals that levelled the scoreline before half time. Tom Day was released into space twice and finished brilliantly on both occasions.
The second half continued on in much the same fashion, with both sides creating chances. We kept up the hard work but ultimately our tired legs showed. With five minutes to go the Norwegian player found space and rattled a shot into the bottom corner.
We lifted the keeper once again and created a few half chances, but in the end the risk didn’t pay off as they countered quickly and sent the ball into an empty net to make it 4-2. The final whistle blew and our team virtually collapsed on the pitch. We had played in an incredibly intense match with only one sub and had played some great futsal. We all felt that a few extra subs would have clinched it for us as we had done so well to match them with only one. We had a lot more positives to take from this game, not least the return of Tringham the next day.
We hung around to watch the next two quarter finals and witnessed two massive upsets. First, Istanbul beat the Portugese team from Minho in a fiery encounter. Then, incredibly, the hosts and favourites Malaga were knocked out on penalties to the Paris team who had beaten us the day before. Vern had also made the semi finals, which helped put both our heavy defeats into perspective, giving us fresh confidence ahead of our penultimate game against the Estonians the next day.