Four months before EURO 2018 kicks off and national minifootball teams across Europe are stepping up their preparations. The England national minifootball team who didn’t qualify for EURO 2017 are returning to EMF EURO with high hopes and aspirations. After appointing a new coach and signing three new sponsors (Regal London, JSM Group and YY Security), the team traveled last weekend to the Czech Republic to play the World Champions.
England and Czech Republic played 2 friendly matches on the 14th & 15th of April, in the Czech national team training center just outside Prague. It was the first serious test for the newly assembled English team as they try to get back to the top tier of European minifootball in the European Championship that will kick off in Kiev on August 12th.
Match 1 – Czech win 5-3
The Czechs used all their knowledge of the game to capitalise on the English inexperience , and went into a 1-0 lead early in the first half with one of their famous free kick routines.
England fired back quickly after a shot from Healey was parried, Captain Cable slotting home from a tight angle!
The Czechs then started to control the game and scored 2 goals in quick succession, First a long range shot flew into the top corner, before a magical move resulted in the Czech player slotting home coolly.
A couple of minutes before half time as the Czechs again pressed, England intercepted and Ross Cable chipped the keeper from inside his own half on the break to put his team back in the game.
In the second half, both teams nullified each other for long periods before the home side again scored another spectacularly worked free kick, before a long range effort deflected off England defender Long and wrong footed Page in goal for Czech Republic.
England grew strong as the game drew to a close and Man of the Match James McCluskey side footed through the keepers legs to make the score a more respectable one.
Match 2 – England win 2-1
The Czech national Minfitooball team welcomed England for a second time in two days, but in a tight game, it was the English who were triumphant.
The English team started brightly and had good possession, but both teams cancelled each other out early on.
Late into the first half, the Czechs were awarded a dubious free kick and not for the first time, they caught England out with one of their trademark free kick routines to lead 1-0.
Into the second half the Czechs adopted the ‘fly keeper’ tactic more and it was that decision that led to them conceding an equaliser as Healey pressed for the away side and slotted home into an empty a goal.
Within a minute the Czechs restored their lead with a nice one two before side footing past the England keeper for 2-1.
Quick feet from England talisman McCluskey drew the sides level again as he outfoxed the Czech defender before firing home from 15 yards.
As the game drew to a conclusion, England got a free kick 10 yards from goal, and a well worked set piece saw McCluskey feed Cable, and the England striker smashed the ball high into the top corner from a tight angle, to give the English side a famous victory on Czech soil, with his third goal in 2 games.