*** Hard Rock Charity Cup – FCKP Reach The Final! ***
The third sunday of august was a hot summer day and brought our team towards the fields of the Olympic stadium (training ground of Hertha BSC) to join the Hard Rock Charity Cup 2015.
We showed up with 13 lads not expecting too much, just to have a bit fun and practice to stay in shape during the summer. A wild card gave us the oppertunity to play this cup, by the way. A total of 28 teams from all corners of Germany gathered here to have a pleasant sunday.
Our opponents in GROUP D:
WTF WUHDOO UNITED (0:1)
AERIA GAMES (0:1)
TEAM SONNENHOF (5:0)
HARD ROCK CAFE WIEN (0:0)
DIE UNGLAUBLICHEN (0:0)
The group stage was an up and down, starting with a 0:1 loss against probably the strongest team in the group, WTF WuhDoo United. In the second game we easily ran down the Freizeitkickers 5:0 (Hector x2, Abdel, Amir, Alexander) and gained new confidence to survive the group stage.
But just as fast as the confidence came back, it was gone again after the third match which, we lost again 0:1 by not making the most of our luck and missing big chances. Next opponent was Team Sonnenhof, a mix of girls and boys which we dominated most of the time, maybe because they took this tournament as a laidback pleasure instead of fighting for the trophy. So we swagged with a 5:0 after ten minutes off the pitch and Amir scored an outstanding 3 goals which Abdel and Alexander completed by scoring each for the final result.
The last two group games were more of the boring kind, not much to mention except that both teams tried all but failed gloriously to score… Hey who cares we came 4th in the group which meant we went to the knock-out stage!
Abdel giving a post-group stage interview on live radio
We knew we have to show some will and effort now if we want to keep going or lose all. Round of the last 16 was on and we face the winner of group B the Spreefüchse. A tough game which was dominated mostly by the opponent, they just knew how to keep the ball between their players but they missed out good chances. A few minutes before the end a good combo was finalized by Stefan with his first goal in the tournament for the 1:0 victory. Now we were surprised about ourselves and even the fans liked our dedication and way of fighting…
…Quarter-finals were knocking on the door and Firma Recke, winner of group A in the group stage and unbeaten until now, was next to face. I don’t know how, but after conceeding the 0:1 in the very first minutes we outscored them 3:1 within the last 3 minutes with three nice combinations infront of the opponents goal. Alexander scored 2x and Hector one more time! We couldn’t believe it and celebrated this win like the win of the cup.
The team (with Amir’s parents and Rima) feeling ready for the finals
We headed to the field, followed by the crowd, and gathered at the side of the field to have a team talk. We now wanted the crown as we never got so far in an official tournament, as far as I can remember. It was a very hot day, we drank a lot of liquids, Amir’s parents were supporting us too and showed their son what football is all about: passion, dedication and solidarity.
With the chanting of “black and yellow” in the background, we entered the meanwhile watered pitch for the Semi Final against the Cosmographen. A strong opponent, but harmless on their attacks finding its master in our defense. We rescued a goalless draw to the full time and came to the penalty shoot out. Hector managed to score his first, the opponent too. Alejandro was next and found the back of the net leading the goalie to the wrong corner. Next shot by the opponent was saved by Marian. Nick had the last shot and put it in, sending us to the final – YES!!! THE FINAL!!!
Marian saving a decisive penalty in the semi-finals
The whole tournament crew didn’t expect us to be in the final but with our harmony and solidarity we conquered their hearts during the day and those of the fans. It was a rough final, the opponent was strong, even by shouting out words. We tried to focus on the game but somehow the yelling, complaining and aggressiveness of the opponent made it a very unpleasant game, but we managed to reach the penalties. The opponent shot first and hammered the shot into the top right corner. Next shot was missed by Hector. Then the opponent shot above the crossbar, so did Alejandro. Last opponent shooter was saved by Marian and Nick had the chance to bring us back by equalizing, but it didn’t happen…the dream was over.
Hector taking the penalty in the final as hopeful FCKP players look on
Even though we didn’t manage to win the final, all in all it was an excellent performance by the whole team on a very hot sunday afternoon with pretty strong opponents. We showed passion, determination and great team spirit and deserved to reach the final. Better luck next time!
Marian (C), Felipe, Nick, Jesus, Diego, Alejandro, Stefan, Hector, Alexander S, Amir, Adonis, Ezequiel L, Abdel
Alexander S (4), Hector (4), Amir (4), Abdel (2), Stefan, Alejandro, Nick
Report by Marian