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raz 9878Father Frost (Russia) – Joulupukki (Finland) – 3:3!

Haven't you seen the Finnish Joulupukki in Peterburgsky SCC? Right, the Finnish Santa Claus? What? There was only our familiar Russian Father Frost playing the accordion in the sports complex lobby! No, for sure: Joulupukki has also sneaked to Valentin Granatkin Memorial next to Father Frost and was secretly hiding on the very top of the stands watching the youth match Russia – Finland and pinching out hairs from his long beard for luck of the Finnish team, like old Khottabych did!

... Indeed, the young team of Alexei Eremenko, Finland U-18 coach, having lost the first half 0:2, drastically transformed in the second! As though with the aid of the old Joulupukki... Well, speaking seriously, the Finnish team was surely influenced by the proper words which Eremenko said during the half-time. "We were nervous during the first minutes of the match. Our players looked slower than the Russians. They were losing the ball, losing high ball duels and lacked concentration. But we were improving our play with each minute. The time to show our character has come. Considering that this was the fourth game over a short period of time, it is much appreciated. Especially during this time of year. It's only now that pre-season camps start in Finland. So what happened today – leveling the play and qualifying further – is the result of the common work of the coaches and the guys. We managed to prepare them for the game psychologically. I am very glad with my players, for I've seen their desire to win in spite of the fact that they were catching up the entire match. You know, people often give up in such moments, but if you haven't given up you have all the chances to succeed. That's why we kept attacking when the score was 3:3!" – Alexei himself couldn't help revealing his content on both the game and the result after the match.

And that was exactly the 3:3 draw which allowed both the team of Russia (quite clear as it has won the first place in its group B) and the team of Finland to qualify to the XXVIII Granatkin Memorial semifinals. And the reason why it was the Finnish team which became the only second place team passing to the semifinals from groups A, B, and C needs to be specified. On the first sight, the position of the Slovaks seems most adventurous in that trinity. They gained 7 points in their group, while the Finns got 6 and the Latvians – 5. But groups A and B contained 5 teams, while group C had only 4 participants! So the Organizing Committee had affirmed a special term in the regulations already before the tournament started: to define the best second place team in groups, the number of matches of these teams must be set equal. Therefore, the Slovaks and the Finns in A and B groups had their matches against last place teams conditionally subtracted. The Slovaks were deprived of three points for their win over Lithuania and the Finns lost one point for their draw with Estonia. The result of Latvia was left as was. So the rating then was: Finland – 5 points (goal difference in three matches 4:3), Latvia – also 5 points (goal difference in three matches 3:2), Slovakia – 4 points. Can you imagine that? The Finns have literally snatched Latvians' pass to the semifinals by one scored goal!

Was team Latvia unlucky? Doubtlessly it was! However, we shouldn't forget that this team so far has scored only 3 goals on the tournament (all by Roberts Uldrikis), two of them from penalty kicks and one from the play. Looks a bit scarce for a semifinal... Though instead team Latvia has a reliable defense, you'd say – and this will be quite right. And the unconventionally looking team Japan featuring the brilliant forward Ryotaro Ito had obvious holes in defense. Ito has scored three beautiful goals and made several gorgeous assists in the course of the tournament, but... All the final scores of team Japan on Granatkin Memorial this year are as follows: 0:3, 3:4, 2:2 and 3:1. Ten goals conceded! As a result, the Japanese team is only playing the match for the 9th place on Monday. Alas...

The Slovaks also seem to deserve more than playing against the Latvians for the 5th place. But the team of Milan Malatinsky had a bold start defeating the Japaneses and then considerably decreased both in physics and in psychology. So in the end it let team St. Petersburg pass to the semifinal according to the goal difference. The latter is keeping a super performance: 12 scored goals in four matches. Here we can see the signature of the famous Zenit striker Vladimir Kazachionok – the coach of young St. Petersburg team. Only the team of Russia have scored more goals – 14. Impressive, isn't it? Surely, but Mikhail Galaktionov's team has played two draws already – with teams Moldova and Finland...

The Belorussian squad headed by Mikhail Markhel, having showed interesting football, has obviously got tired by the end of the tournament group stage. Azerbaijan and Bulgaria also ran out of forces, having brought 17-year-olds instead of 18-year-olds by different reasons. And in such an age a year of difference plays a great role. The Moldovan team has lost in their group only once, though they appeared to be out of the first ten just "thanks" to their defeat to Kazakhstan. And at the less prestigious tournament match for the 13th place, we'll see a "Baltic Derby" Estonia – Lithuania... We wish them not to get too upset and remember the famous Olympic principle: "It's not the winning, it's the taking part".

Though, of course, nobody is able to put off the importance and sweetness of the victory on the international football tournament. The XXVIII Valentin Granatkin Memorial will see teams of Russia, St. Petersburg, Finland and Slovenia fighting for the medals. Watch the decisive matches of the tournament and get joy!

Father Frost (Russia) – Joulupukki (Finland) – 3:3!

Haven’t you seen the Finnish Joulupukki in Peterburgsky SCC? Right, the Finnish Santa Claus? What? There was only our familiar Russian Father Frost playing the accordion in the sports complex lobby! No, for sure: Joulupukki has also sneaked to Valentin Granatkin Memorial next to Father Frost and was secretly hiding on the very top of the stands watching the youth match Russia – Finland and pinching out hairs from his long beard for luck of the Finnish team, like old Khottabych did!

… Indeed, the young team of Alexei Eremenko, Finland U-18 coach, having lost the first half 0:2, drastically transformed in the second! As though with the aid of the old Joulupukki… Well, speaking seriously, the Finnish team was surely influenced by the proper words which Eremenko said during the half-time. “We were nervous during the first minutes of the match. Our players looked slower than the Russians. They were losing the ball, losing high ball duels and lacked concentration. But we were improving our play with each minute. The time to show our character has come. Considering that this was the fourth game over a short period of time, it is much appreciated. Especially during this time of year. It’s only now that pre-season camps start in Finland. So what happened today – leveling the play and qualifying further – is the result of the common work of the coaches and the guys. We managed to prepare them for the game psychologically. I am very glad with my players, for I’ve seen their desire to win in spite of the fact that they were catching up the entire match. You know, people often give up in such moments, but if you haven’t given up you have all the chances to succeed. That’s why we kept attacking when the score was 3:3!” – Alexei himself couldn’t help revealing his content on both the game and the result after the match.

And that was exactly the 3:3 draw which allowed both the team of Russia (quite clear as it has won the first place in its group B) and the team of Finland to qualify to the XXVIII Granatkin Memorial semifinals. And the reason why it was the Finnish team which became the only second place team passing to the semifinals from groups A, B, and C needs to be specified. On the first sight, the position of the Slovaks seems most adventurous in that trinity. They gained 7 points in their group, while the Finns got 6 and the Latvians – 5. But groups A and B contained 5 teams, while group C had only 4 participants! So the Organizing Committee had affirmed a special term in the regulations already before the tournament started: to define the best second place team in groups, the number of matches of these teams must be set equal. Therefore, the Slovaks and the Finns in A and B groups had their matches against last place teams conditionally subtracted. The Slovaks were deprived of three points for their win over Lithuania and the Finns lost one point for their draw with Estonia. The result of Latvia was left as was. So the rating then was: Finland – 5 points (goal difference in three matches 4:3), Latvia – also 5 points (goal difference in three matches 3:2), Slovakia – 4 points. Can you imagine that? The Finns have literally snatched Latvians’ pass to the semifinals by one scored goal!

Was team Latvia unlucky? Doubtlessly it was! However, we shouldn’t forget that this team so far has scored only 3 goals on the tournament (all by Roberts Uldrikis), two of them from penalty kicks and one from the play. Looks a bit scarce for a semifinal… Though instead team Latvia has a reliable defense, you’d say – and this will be quite right. And the unconventionally looking team Japan featuring the brilliant forward Ryotaro Ito had obvious holes in defense. Ito has scored three beautiful goals and made several gorgeous assists in the course of the tournament, but… All the final scores of team Japan on Granatkin Memorial this year are as follows: 0:3, 3:4, 2:2 and 3:1. Ten goals conceded! As a result, the Japanese team is only playing the match for the 9th place on Monday. Alas…

The Slovaks also seem to deserve more than playing against the Latvians for the 5th place. But the team of Milan Malatinsky had a bold start defeating the Japaneses and then considerably decreased both in physics and in psychology. So in the end it let team St. Petersburg pass to the semifinal according to the goal difference. The latter is keeping a super performance: 12 scored goals in four matches. Here we can see the signature of the famous Zenit striker Vladimir Kazachionok – the coach of young St. Petersburg team. Only the team of Russia have scored more goals – 14. Impressive, isn’t it? Surely, but Mikhail Galaktionov’s team has played two draws already – with teams Moldova and Finland…

The Belorussian squad headed by Mikhail Markhel, having showed interesting football, has obviously got tired by the end of the tournament group stage. Azerbaijan and Bulgaria also ran out of forces, having brought 17-year-olds instead of 18-year-olds by different reasons. And in such an age a year of difference plays a great role. The Moldovan team has lost in their group only once, though they appeared to be out of the first ten just “thanks” to their defeat to Kazakhstan. And at the less prestigious tournament match for the 13th place, we’ll see a “Baltic Derby” Estonia – Lithuania… We wish them not to get too upset and remember the famous Olympic principle: “It’s not the winning, it’s the taking part”.

Though, of course, nobody is able to put off the importance and sweetness of the victory on the international football tournament. The XXVIII Valentin Granatkin Memorial will see teams of Russia, St. Petersburg, Finland and Slovenia fighting for the medals. Watch the decisive matches of the tournament and get joy!

 

 

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Copyright 2011 Мемориал Валентина Гранаткина / Valentin Granatkin Memorial - Father Frost (Russia) – Joulupukki (Finland) – 3:3!.
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