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ConIFA WFC: Key stories as the group stage ends


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The ConIFA World Football Cup group staged ended with the final eight matches on Sunday, just a day after the second set. We bring you the big stories.

Group A

Barawa beat Ellan Vannin 2-0 in the first of two featured matches on The National Student at Coles Park, Haringey. 

At the same time, Cascadia took on Tamil Eelam in Rotherhithe. Jon Nouble put the Cascadians 1-0 up with a penalty on nine minutes. Before the end of the first half, Northwood FC midfielder Tayshan Hayden-Smith put two up, meaning Cascadia were three goals into a seven-goal swing they required. 

Two goals in quick succession from Farkas put Cascadia within one goal of the quarter-final. Despite a red card to Matthieu Braem, Nouble got the goal before Cascadia added a sixth late on with Elgin City striker Callum Ferguson. The game had been tense due to the fact the situation could change at any minute.

Group A finished as follows - 1. Barawa (6 points, + 5 GD), 2. Cascadia (6 points, +4 GD), 3. Ellan Vannin (3 points, + 3 GD), 4. Tamil Eelam (0 points, - 12 GD). 

Group B 

Abkhazia met Northern Cyprus needing in Enfield a win to go through, two years on from their victory on home soil.

Torpedo Moscow's Dmitrii Maksaev put the side into the lead but Unal Kayal equalised just six minutes later, heading home from a free-kick.  Abkhazia were on the kosh after that and could not break the stalemate before 22-year-old Kenan Ohsan put the Northern Cypriots 2-1 up before a late penalty got the game back to 2-2 but did not change the final standings.

Karpatalja knew that they would finish top with a bigger win than Northern Cyprus in Bracknell. As the game ended as a draw, any win would do. Poor defending gave Zsolt Gaidos the chance to score and he duly punished Tibet. Takasc was bought down in the box by Tsenang Karma and Sandor doubled his side's lead. Gaidos and Taksc combined for a third before a long-range stunner from Tenzing Yougal. 

Despite a spirited effort from the Tibet team Alex Svedjuk and Takasc rounded off a 5-1 win in a professional performance from Karpatalja. 

Group B finished as follows - 1. Karpatalja (7 points, + 6 GD), 2. Northern Cyprus (5 points, + 2 GD),  3. Abkhazia (2 points, + 1 GD), 4. Tibet (0 points, -9 GD). 

Group C

Padania took on Szekely Land in Bedfont for top spot in the group. 

Cristina Sferrazza was a special guest, the soprano singing the Padan anthem. Padania took the lead through Gianluca Rolandone before Giacomo Innocenti, who scored twice against Matabeleland, and Ersid Plumbaj put the Padania team into a 3-0 lead. 

Szekely Land did pull back in the second half but Padania secured top place and were the only side to win all three group games. 

Tuvalu took on Matabeleland in Haringey to determine who will finish 3rd. Bruce Grobbelaar who won the European Cup for Liverpool was on the bench for the Matabeleles. 

Matabeleland took the lead before Tuvalu got their first goal of the tournament, the Matabeles missed a penalty before reaching 2-1 before halftime, they converted a second penalty in the second half for their first ever tournament finals win. 

Group D

Western Armenia beat Kabylia 4-0 in Enfield in what was the second featured game on The National Student. 

Slough was the venue for United Koreans of Japan v Panjab. Quite simply, UKJ needed a win. For much of the game, it could have gone either way with Gurjit Singh missing a penalty in the first half with a weak effort saved by the goalkeeper. 

Amar Purewal sent the goalkeeper the wrong way with a penalty of his own 15 minutes from time, the first goal UKJ had conceded all tournament. UKJ then scored the first with a Su Hyeon Mun screamer but a draw was a fair result in a tight game.

Group D finishes as follows - 1. Western Armenia (7 points, +5 GD), 2. Panjab (5 points, +7 GD), 3. United Koreans of Japan (3 points, 0 GD), 4. Kabylia (1 point, -12 GD). 

Quarter Final Ties

The quarter-finals will be played on Tuesday. The ties are as follows:

Barawa v Northern Cyprus, 1500, Gander Green Lane, Sutton.

Padania v Panjab, 1500, Larges Lane, Bracknell.

Karpatalja v Cascadia, 1800, Gander Green Lane, Sutton.

Western Armenia v Szekely Land, Hayes Lane, Bromley. 

Placement Rounds

The placement rounds determine the final finish of sides that have been knocked out. They will be played at the same time.

Ellan Vannin v Tibet, 1500, Hayes Lane, Bromley.

Matabeleland v Kabylia, 1500, Queen Elizabeth II Stadium, Enfield.

Abkhazia v Tamil Eelam, 1800, Parkside, Aveley. 

United Koreans of Japan v Tuvalu, Larges Lane, Bracknell. 

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