On April 17-19, 2015, Transneft North Futsal Club took part in the Open Futsal Tournament named after A. Zakharenko held by LLC Gazprom transgaz Ukhta within the events dedicated to the 70th anniversary of the Victory in the Great Patriotic War.
LLC Gazprom transgaz Ukhta registered 4 teams for the tournament (a management team, an ERRD team, and teams of Sindorsk and Sosnogorsk Line Production Departments of Trunk Gas Pipelines) as well as invited the teams of Transneft North, JSC and Yareganeft Oil and Mining Department of LUKOIL-Ukhtaneftegaz TPE of LUKOIL-Komi, LLC.
The main contenders for victory in the tournament were the teams of ERRD and Yareganeft Oil and Mining Department, which fight for a place among the top three futsal teams in the City Major League this year. It was these two teams that the team of our company planned primarily to compete against. The rest of the teams of LLC Gazprom transgaz Ukhta were seen as underdogs, partially due to the lack of information about team squads.
The starting day showed the correctness of all the tournament predictions. The first game of the tournament faced off the teams of the ERRD and the Oil and Mining Department; the hard game resulted in the victory of the ERRD team with a score of 1:0. In general, the tournament was a success in terms of sports fighting; all the participating teams were ready to fight to the last minute, emotions gushing over the edge, and oftentimes goalkeeping skill proved to be the crucial component of success.
For the Transneft North Futsal Club team, the first game did not start too well: two smashing attacks from the players of the team of Sindorsk Line Production Department of Trunk Gas Pipelines turned into two conceded goals. However, our team, which has experience of playing at such competitions, did not stay idle. Even before the half-time, one goal was scored. In the second half, our team managed to score 3 more uncontested goals while gradually increasing speed and wearing the opponent down.
The second game of our team on the same game day was against the Oil and Mining Department. The tension in the game was just overwhelming; while in the first half, the game was controlled by the Oil and Mining Department players, who mainly played long balls and only allowed our team to create a number of really dangerous scoring opportunities at the end of the first half, the second half was remembered by the mind-boggling skills demonstrated by the opposing goalkeeper. While poignant moments were created time after time, our guys were not able to overcome the last line of defense. The resulting combative draw of 0:0 was not acceptable to either of the teams.
On the second game day, a game between Transneft North Futsal Club and the management team took place. There was no particularly hard fight in the game, as the players of the management team after previously played games lost out in speed to our guys. The win with the score of 5:2 was a natural result, which placed 3 more points under the belt of the Transneft team.
The next game, which was to be decisive for the tournament, faced off the ERRD team and our team. In case of victory the ERRD team would become the winner of the tournament ahead of time. And for a good reason, we must admit. The opposing team looked strong and spirited and consisted of fast and skillful players; its bench comprised the “guard” expecting their playtime (experienced veteran players, who played in a number of tournaments and received awards both in urban and national competitions). The game started as expected: the players of the ERRD team quickly moved across the field and passed the ball looking for passes to our goal. When ~~passing was impossible, precise long shots were placed, which were confidently handled by our goalkeeper. Our team used counter attacks, which proved successful in the middle of the first half: while moving from the flank to the center, our player beat an opposing defender and sent the ball over the goalkeeper, who dashed from goal to intercept the pass. The scored goal did not changed the nature of the game much; the ERRD team dominated the field looking for an opportunity to score. As it turned out later, the game outcome was decided with 4 seconds left to go before the end of the first half. In another attack at our goal, after a cannon shot from an ERRD player, the goalkeeper of Transneft North Futsal Club Zakhar Laychuk parried the shot and, without thinking twice, sent the ball toward the opponent’s net. The ERRD goalkeeper, who had just left his goal during the attack, was clearly not expecting such a turn of events and let the ball go in just under the crossbar as the interval siren shrilled. This goal to gloom over in the locker room was a real shock for the ERRD team. In the second half, even the territorial advantage of the ERRD players did not help them create scoring chances at our goal; and getting the ball past our goalkeeper using long-range shots was simply impossible that day. Even switching to the five outfield players scheme did not produce the desired result, as another mistake in the attack forced their team to pull the ball out of their own goal and to put it in the center once again.
This victory completed the second game day and opened the way for Transneft North Futsal Club’s fight not just for the prize place but for the first place in the tournament. However, only a win over Sosnogorsk Line Production Department of Trunk Gas Pipelines would let our team take this place. The answer had to be given on the final day.
The game started without a delay: attacks of our team rolled on the opponent over and over again, but for the time being the opponent managed to deal with the pressure and launched its own counter attacks. However, the number of our attacks was not lost on the opponent, who was forced to make mistakes and to break the rules too close to its goal. After a free kick, the ball found a gap in the defensive formation and flew into the net. More goals needed to be scored in order to remove all questions about the winner because in futsal a difference of one or two goals does not mean anything and can be cancelled within a few minutes. Unfortunately, the desire to quickly score has served the team of Transneft North Futsal Club a bad turn in this game. During a corner kick, a player of the Sosnogorsk Line Production Department of Trunk Gas Pipelines saw the ball bounced and sent it flying back into the goal. The game had to be started all over again. However, the opponent was not thinking of abandoning its attempts to score again, either. Another goal from the Transneft North Futsal Club team was countered in a fast attack of the players of the Line Production Department of Trunk Gas Pipelines. And thus the score of 2:2 after the first half. The second half was marked by an increased motivation of the Transneft North Futsal Club team; yet, some flaws in the defensive layout allowed the Line Production Department of Trunk Gas Pipelines to finish into an empty net after long-range shots which were parried by our goalkeeper. In turn, the ball stubbornly refused to fly into the net of the opposing team. Removing the goalie and switching to five outfield players, our team has created a number of dangerous moments, which would be enough to defeat an opponent in another game, over the remaining 10 minutes to end of the game. The ball was tossed in the penalty area and the goal line of the Production Department of Trunk Gas Pipelines hitting the goalkeeper, the bar, and the fielders, who were the last line of defense, over and over again. Even the last-minute goal scored by our team did not disappoint the opponents, and the ERRD team players were pleased that they won the tournament not even expecting that.
The Transneft North Futsal Club team took the 2nd place in the tournament beating the team of Yareganeft Oil and Mining Department, which has the same goal difference, on the larger number of goals scored.
From the point of view of the organizers of the ~~tournament and the players of participating teams, the tournament was a success; the intrigue remained until the very last moment. The victory eventually went to the strongest team.
We sincerely thank the audience who supported our football team in this tournament!
*** Continuing the tradition
The Transneft North - 2 team reached the 2014/2015 Futsal League 2 Cup semi-final, where it faced the ORION team from Ukta. The game was played in a an even struggle; the normal playing time did not determine the winner as the game finished with the score of 3:3. The winner was determined in a penalty shootout. The luck was on the side of the ORION team on that day, who scored 9 and conceded 8 goals and thus reached the stage of the final of the tournament, where it will face the MONITORING GROUP team (Ukhta). Andrei Lanskikh scored a hat-trick for our team. The Transneft North - 2 futsal team has set a goal to improve its results both in the Cup and in the regular futsal season among second league teams in the following season.