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The Netherlands and Spain will meet each other in the final of the eighth edition of the FIFPro Tournament. Both teams secured the first place in their group, on a day with many scouts watching from the stands in the Dutch town of Rijnsburg.


The Dutch Team VVCS are defending their 2011 title. They had to fight to qualify for the final, because they had a hard time getting past the Slovenian union’s Team SPINS. After the Slovenians had beaten Portugal with 2-0 and had drawn with The Netherlands (0-0), the Dutch knew they had to beat Portugal with at least two goals to reach the final. Coach Dirk Heesen’s team succeed in their mission, although the 3-0 win against Portugal wasn’t as easy as the score shows.


The Spanish team won both games, although none of these wins came easy. They had an even match against France, but managed to make the only goal in the game. And against Denmark, they appeared to be better, but they had to wait until the final minutes to secure the victory.


The matches:


Slovenia-Portugal 2-0
Team SPINS proved to be the better team in this match, especially in the first half. Ermin Rakovic opened the score after ten minutes, rounding the Portuguese goalkeeper and putting the ball in the back of the net froma tight angle. Halfway the second half, Rakovic copies his first goal, once again beating the goalkeeper. Portugal tried to make a comeback but was unable to convert the few chances it had.


France-Denmark 1-0
Team UNFP from France was slightly better than its Danish opponent, Team Spillerforeningen. After squandering a couple of chances, it was Nabil Ouarguini who produced the only goal of the match. In the 56th minute he slotted the ball home after a fine cross from the right.


Slovenia-The Netherlands 0-0
Team SPINS had to fight for a draw, especially after a red card early in the second half. But Team VVCS from The Netherlands was unable to create chances, although the Dutch squad had the better of the game, and although they had the most possession.



Slovenia-The Netherlands: Enes Rujovic, Petrit Hoxhaj and Norichio Nieveld


France-Spain 0-1
Spain’s Team AFE narrowly beat Team UNFP from France. Both teams were evenly matched and created some chances, with Emmanuel Schianchi and Rudy Carlier getting very close to scoring. The only player who managed to score was Arriaga. The Spanish winger converted a penalty kick in the 37th minute.


Portugal-The Netherlands 0-3
Team VVCS qualifies for the final. The Dutch secure the first spot in their group by convincingly beating Portugal. Istvan Bakx was the man of the match. He scored the first two goals after neat crosses of Dammyano Grootfaam. The 2-0 was the prettiest: Bakx turning away from his man and finding the net with his left foot. Halfway the second half defender Mike van der Kooy scored with a header and sent his team to the final. For the Portuguese team, Álvaro was close, but he hit the bar.


Denmark-Spain 0-4
Spain’s Team AFE will face The Netherlands. Coach Manuel Mosquera’s men were too much to handle for Denmark, who had to end the game with ten men. Halfway the first half Ayala opened the score with a clutch goal. In the closing minutes of the second half, Spain extended their lead to 4-0 thanks to goals of Añete, Jesús Alonso and Cañadas. Alonso’s goal was the most beautiful: turning away from his marker and powering home his shot.


Program Sunday 22 July
12.30h, 5-6th place: Portugal-Denmark
13.45h, 3-4th place: Slovenia-France
15.00h, FINAL: The Netherlands-Spain