danone nations cup 2005
Danone Cup Finals
KENDATI hanya menempasti posisi 11 dari 32 negara, rekor kebelasan Indonesia pada Danone Nations Club 2005 tak bisa dipandang sebelah mata. Pada tahun itu, Indonesia dinobatkan sebagai tim tangguh dengan rekor memasukkan bola terbanyak ke gawang lawan, yakni sebanyak 24 gol. Tim Indonesia juga meraih gelar sebagai The Best Attacking Team atau tim dengan serangan terbaik. Juara DNC 2005 diraih kesebelasan Rusia.
Sosok pahlawan kesebelasan Indonesia saat itu adalah Irvin Museng, yang menjadi topskor dengan mengemas sepuluh gol. Bakat pemain yang dijuluki “Nakata Kecil dari Makassar” ini pun tercium para pencari bakat klub-klub besar Eropa yang hadir pada pelaksanaan DNC 2005. Buntutnya, Irvin lolos seleksi dari tiga ribu pesaing untuk masuk ke sekolah sepakbola Ajax Amsterdam Junior di Belanda.
The young U12 side got their tournament off to a great start, holding group favourites Holland to a scoreless draw. The Dutch certainly enjoyed the better of the possession, and kept the Irish back line busy for the full 20 minutes. Ireland only had one or two real chances at the other end, both of them through Captain Aidan McGrath, while at the other end Harry Murphy in particular worked tirelessly to shut out every Dutch attack. Ireland went on to win the resulting penalty shoot out 7-6, to ensure they would be ranked ahead of the Dutch in case of a tie. Everything came unstuck in their next game, against the groups surprise package Indonesia. Playing in a sweltering 36 degrees, Ireland looked tired from kick off and their slowness to react allowed Indonesia grab an early goal, Hari Yanto Ramas strike leaving keeper Evan Comerford helpless. Indonesia dominated the game and with five minutes gone they really had the Irish side on the rack. When Museng Irvin scored the first of what was to be a hat-trick for the talented young Indonesia player, it was a case of game over, as the Irish defence collapsed. For the last few minutes it seemed that Indonesia could stroll though the Irish defence unchecked, and they managed to score four more, Ireland suffering a humiliating 6-0 defeat. For the second consecutive year, Ireland faced Canada in a final group game where both teams needed to win to secure qualification. It was great credit to the young side that they bounced back from the huge defeat against the Indonesian’s and they started by far the stronger of the two sides. Cian Mackey replaced Evan Comerford between the posts, and produced a man of the match performance in his first start. Just two minutes into the game he pulled of a save Shay Given would be proud off, when Canadian striker Chris Royal side stepped Ian Fahey, to shoot from point blank range, it looked destined for the back of the net, but Mackey managed to keep it out. For the first time in the three games, Aidan McGrath and Levi Whelan started to push forward much more, and Ireland started looking to create chances at the other end and really threaten the Canadian keeper. With just under 10 minutes gone, McGrath was pulled down in box and the referee did not hesitate before pointing to the spot. Levi Whelan calmly converted to give Ireland that much needed 1-0 advantage, and set up a dramatic final half. Mackey was the hero of the final ten minutes, as the luck finally held for the Irish. Jan Lao, who had been dangerous throughout the game, was unlucky not to equalize in the 16th minute, after Mackey could only parry his initial shot; his second attempt hitting the top of the post, much to the relief of the Irish fans. There was another nervous moment in the final minute, Xavier Guerette nearly breaking Irish hearts, but after a scramble in front of the goal, Jason Clarke managed to get the ball clear, and Ireland held on to take the win they needed to make the quarter-finals. Indonesia qualified top of the group, with an impressive record of 14 goals scored, and none conceded. Ireland went through second, with the Dutch and the Canada left playing for ranking positions. Ireland now went on to face Bulgaria in Saturday’s quarter-final. Bulgaria qualified top of their group courtesy of wins over Mexico and Algeria.
Ireland narrowly missed out on a place in Sunday’s Nations Cup semi-finals at the Stadium Gerland in Lyon, after going out 1-0 to the Czech Republic in Saturday’s quarter-final tie. The young U12 sides win over Bulgaria in the last 16 encounter earlier in the day, had already ensured them the highest ever placing of an Irish team in the competition. The much taller Bulgarian side were favourites, after qualifying top of their group, but it was the Irish who started by far the stronger. Playmaker Aidan McGrath moved to centre mid-field, and suddenly found the space that had been denied him during the group matches. And it was McGrath who created some of Ireland’s best chances early on in the game, as Ireland played their most aggressive attacking football to date. Midway through the game, Bulgarian found their form, and keeper Cian Mackey was kept busy, with their fast sweeper Mihail creating most of their chances. But Ireland regained control, and could have won the game during the closing minutes, with chances from McGrath and Colman Kennedy. Ireland were always confident they would win it if it went to a shoot out, and when keeper Mackey saved the Bulgarian’s second penalty from Mihail, Michael Quinlivan coolly converted to set up a quarter-final tie with the Czech Republic. Again, Ireland dominated for most of the game, with McGrath and Christy O’Gorman putting the Czech defence under pressure. Horacek kept Mackey on his toes at the other end, but the Irish side managed to deal with any Czech threat. Ireland should have been 1-0 up on the 14th minute, thanks to a great goal from Colman Kennedy, but the referee disallowed it for hand ball, much the anger of the Irish bench. The game seemed destined for penalties, then, with just under three minutes to go Horacek’s bullet of a shot ricocheted off the post and out into the path of Vaculka, who broke Irish hearts by slotting it past the helpless Mackey. “The players are of course disappointed, as we all felt we had the better of the possession, and were unlucky to concede in the final few minutes. But we can not say how proud we are of them” said Manager Martin Quinlivan “Teams like France, Brazil, England, the Dutch ” none of them got this far. It’s a huge achievement for this young team and no matter how they do tomorrow we are still guaranteed a place in the top 8.” Ireland lost 2-1 to the Reunion Islands. Michael Quinlivan scored a cracker of a goal for Ireland but two late goals denied them victory. Ireland finished 8th overall ahead of countries like England, Germany, Italy, France, Holland and even the mighty Brazil