SAFP on Second Place at FIFPro Tournament
Holland wins Tournament, Switzerland second
Sunday 17 July
The Netherlands are the winners of the 2011 FIFPro Tournament. Switzerland and Denmark surprised by taking the second and third place.
The Dutch Team VVCS of coach Henk Wisman played a special 'final' against Almere City FC, a team from the Dutch second division. They lost 2-0. In the first minute Almere took the lead. Rihairo Meulens converted a penalty. Team VVCS had a hard time creating chances. When they did have an opportunity, they couldn’t find the net. Ten minutes from time, Almere City’s Mitchell Burgzorg decided the match, scoring from a counter attack: 0-2.
Hans Denissen collected the Best Player of the Tournament award. The Dutch winger was the tournament's top goalscorer with 4 goals and one assist, and thje 27-year old helped Team VVCS clinch the title.
Switzerland (Team SAFP) was one of the surprise teams in Rijnsburg. Coach Oldrich Svab’s men proved they were a tough team to beat and took the second place. On Saturday they lost to Spain in the closing minutes of the game. But later that day they beat Italy and on Sunday they took three points from France. Stéphane Doua hit a penalty kick to give Team SAFP a 1-0 victory. Their solid defence, led by captain Frank Rodrigo Pereira, kept their French opponents in check, just like it had done against Spain and Italy.
Denmark (Team Spillerforeningen) secured the third place. After a heavy loss against France, coach Kresten Blaesild saw his team snatch a last second win against Portugal on Saturday. On Sunday they beat Italy: 2-1. Lasse Qvist, Philip Lund Simon, Braemer and Mark Leth Pedersen created a number of chances for the Danish. The Italians were lucky the game ended 2-1, because Denmark could have scored more. Lasse Qvist notched both Danish goals, the last being the game-winner, when he slid the ball behind goalkeeper Gabriele Bartoletti.
Switzerland-France: Sonny Doumbouya and Nicolas Descenclos (behind)
The fourth place was for Spain (Team AFE). There were no easy matches for the Spanish team, all close games. A late victory over Switzerland (1-0), a draw with France (0-0), and on Sunday also a draw against Portugal: 1-1. Victor Salas put the Spanish in front in the first minute, but Portugal answered just before half time; captain Rui Baião scored with a tap-in from close range.
France (Team UNFP) began the FIFPro Tournament with a comfortable and impressive victory over Denmark 4-1. But they couldn’t find their rhythm again in the matches against Spain (1-1) and Switzerland (0-1). The French even lost to the Swiss due to a bad tackle in their own penalty area, that lead to a penalty kick.
Portugal (Team SJPF) had a very bad start, with a 4-0 loss to The Netherlands. But coach José Carlos managed to get his players’ heads up. They went close to beating Denmark in their second match, only to lose in the last seconds of that game. And on Sunday they held Spain in check: 1-1. Captain Rui Baião, the team’s most prolific player, secured the point (and sixth place) with the equalizer.
Team AIC from Italy disappointed with a last place. Coach Biagio Savarese’s squad lost three times, all small defeats: Holland (2-3), Switzerland (1-2), and on Sunday Denmark (1-2). The Italians did fight to win each game, sometimes getting very close to a point.
|1. The Netherlands VVCS||2-6||7-2|
|2. Switzerland SAFP||3-6||3-2|
|3. Denmark Spillerforeningen||3-6||6-7|
|4. Spain AFE||3-5||3-2|
|5. France UNFP||3-4||5-3|
|6. Portugal SJPF||3-1||3-8|
|7. Italy AIC||3-0||4-7|
Mark Leth Pedersen (Denmark, right) and Carlo Luisi