PROMOTION PLAYOFFS SEMI FINAL
Prior to the game the media expected us to reach the final. We were considered as favorites and that placed us in a difficult position. I would have liked to be the Underdog, with these expectations the pressure could get to the players. Anyhoo, I knew it would be a difficult game and that is exactly what happened.
We had the best start of the two teams. We took control and had the most possession in the first 15 minutes. We had some shots early on, so nobody was surprised when Dan Mönell opened the score after thirteen minutes. The forward gave Valdres the lead with a close range header, after a perfect cross by Tom Ruden. I expected us to keep up the pressure, but Skjetten took over and never gave up control. We were very lucky not to concede in the first half, but I knew they would end up scoring if we didn't manage to get back in the game and regained control over the midfield.
I made some changes during half time, hoping to keep the ball and to create some chances on the counter. Although we limited the number of chances, we still conceded a stupid goal. We were caught on the break after a corner and a low cross from the right hand side made it very easy for Andreas Castilla to finish; 1-1.
Weirdly enough we jumped right back in the game, creating two chances and getting a second goal in the process. Simon Hoglien, who came on as a sub, finished a cross from Ruden, who had an excellent game on the left. With a small lead I decided to sit back and lure for a counter attack.
But fifteen minutes before the end of the game we were caught sleeping again. A long ball from the midfield was missed by our central defender and fell in front of Castilla. The small striker did not have any problems to play around our Goalkeeper and finishing into the bottom left corner. The 2-2 was deserved, but it was the second time today our defensive duo was caught sleeping on the job.
The match would finish in a 2-2 draw, and in the extra time neither of the teams could break the deadlock. The game would be decided by penalties.
Well, if you miss your first two penalties, you know you will have a difficult job getting through to the next round. Vemud Knutsen and Martin Kveen missed for Valdres, Skjetten missed their first penalty, but converted number two. Tom Ruden and Simon Hoglien converted their spotkicks, whilst Skjetten players Jorgen Slorafoss and Andreas Bjerkestrand did the same thing.
Valdres' fifth penalty was taken by Miguel Hamutenya and the Namibian needed to score to keep Valdres alive. The Wingback was caught by the pressure and took a very weak penalty. Skjetten goalkeeper Andreas Fjeldstad didn't have any problems saving the penalty, and deciding the game. Skjetten qualified for the Promotion Playoff Final, whilst Valdres' season had ended on a low.
Well, bit of a unfortunate ending of the season in Norway. After we magically qualified for the playoffs, I really wanted to win them too. To go out like this is a bit frustrating and a very big blow to end the season like this. But maybe we will be able to pick ourselves up for nest season, and try to compete for the top positions once again! Thank you for reading and I hope to catch you again next time!
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