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ConIFA WFC: Abkhazia 0-2 Karpatalja @ Queen Elizabeth II Stadium, Enfield


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Karpatalja sent a massive statement of intent with a deserved win over reigning ConIFA World Champions Abkhazia with a 2-0 victory in Enfield.

Karpatalja started immediately with a fast, direct attacking game with winger Sandor Kozman causing problems, a goal-saving tackle from Georgii Zhanaa was needed to deny him a sure-fire chance from close range. 

The Tarpa FC forward then fired in a dangerous cross for Alex Svedjuk, who scored the equaliser against Northern Cyprus, but the no.10 couldn't get a decent connection.

Abkhazia did not respond to the warning and Kozman cut inside from the left and fired in a low shot that wrong-footed Alexei Bondarenko in the Abkhazia net after deflecting of Kozman's teammate Zsolt Gajdos, much to the frustration of Abkhazia manager Beslan Ajinjal.

Shabat Logua got the first real chance for the side, an audacious bicycle kick that was never in any threat of scoring. Abkhazia were not quite at the races, but Karpatalja did not allow them to be. They were fast and direct and relentless in their play as well as being aware enough to punish mistake with Gajdos forcing Bondarenko into a smart save before Vladimir Argun made a clearance after an under-hit pass across the back. 

Whenever Abkhazia did get something going, Karpatalja were ready to bounce with a sudden counter allowing Zoltan Baksa playing a delightful through ball to Kozman who went down under the pressure in the box, though the referee was not interested. 

Abkhazia bought a small, yet passionate group of fans who made lots of noise by the side of the pitch, though this did not faze their opponents. Goalkeeper Bela Csongor was confident enough to drop the ball at his own feet, dribble several yards out of his box and play a chipped ball over the top and would later take on and beat an onrushing attacker.

A melee from a corner saw an Abkhazi shot cleared off the line, while Argun's pinpoint cross was headed narrowly over by Alexandr Kogonia. Svedjuk would drill another shot wide though as Karpatalja looked for a second.

Csongor would make a remarkable low save to deny Kogonia before he smothered the ball after another melee. 

The second half began with long-range shots from Ivstan Sandor of Karpatalja and Abkhazia's Mykyta Filatov firing wide with long range curlers.

Baksa would set up Bence Lizak to find the net, but it was ruled out for offside. Logua was a decent connection away from the equaliser and Csongor performed a fanstatic save from close range, prompting one of the coaches to punch the roof of the dugout.

Anri Khagush who has played in the Champions League with Rubin Kazan and BATE Borisov had a decent chance but fired his shot straight at the goalkeeper. Csongor angered the Abkhazia fans when he got cramp and decided to take his time over a goal kick, prompting accusations of time wasting. 

With eight minutes added in, tempers flared between coaches on both sides with the fourth official having to calm things and players on both benches having to hold back their coaches and tell them to sit down and leave it. 

With a growing feeling that Abkhazia had left it too little too late, Sandor put them out of thier misery with a low long range drive in the 95th minute.

The Abkhazi players were clapped off heroically but they need to get a result against Northern Cyprus and a draw may not be good enough.

Karpatalja, who if Felvidek had raised sufficient funds, would have stayed home this summer, must now fancy their chances to kick on and push for the title. 

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