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Monday, October 21, 2013


The Tuvalu national side have been touring Holland since mid-August, and are due to play their last match on 31/10/13 in Eindhoven. Pat's Football Blog has been following the team's progress from near and far, and now follows the first of a small number of match-reports. This particular match-report features the match between SV Panningen and the Tuvalu side, made up of mainly second-string players, which took place on 27/8/13.

There surely can't be many better things for the average football fan to do than go to a game on a balmy summer's evening, and several hundred people from the small southern Dutch town of Panningen and its hinterland did exactly that on 29/8/13 when local side SV Panningen played host to the Tuvalu national team which is currently on an 11-week training tour of Holland.

The Tuvalu side warmed up with a 20-minute kickabout against the entire young boys' section of SV Panningen (comprising the three youngest divisions of the club's teams) - known for the occasion as 101 Kids - and it was the kids, supported by at least 101 parents, who came out on top by 6 goals to 2 in a game enjoyed by one and all.

The more serious business of SV Panningen's seniors taking on Tuvalu began just after 19:00, and the first few minutes were fairly even, before SV Panningen's Patrick Joosten had his effort turned behind for a corner by Tuvalu goalkeeper Jerry Selau in the fifth minute. Team-mate Remco Litjens headed just wide four minutes later, before Tuvalu central defender Geoffrey Maleko was substituted by guest player and ex-Dutch international Stan Valckx in the eleventh minute. Joosten had the ball in the Tuvalu net seconds later, but his effort was adjuged to have been offside.

Ward Schatorie's half-volley fizzed across the face of the visitors' goal, but the early pressure from SV Panningen paid off with Roger op het Veld's fine hook-shot from the edge of the area coming off both bar and right-hand post before crossing the line to give the hosts a deserved lead in the 17th minute.

There then followed a period in which Tuvalu dominated proceedings, beginning with a dangerous ball played across the Panningen box by Eric Tealofi, which was put behind for a corner. Good interchange play from Tiute and Nelesone Musika led to Tealofi's shot being blocked by a defender and subsequently cleared after 23 minutes. 

Tuvalu's first real shot on target came after twenty-four minutes, when Musika's shot was saved comfortably by Bart Lenders in the SV Panningen goal. Five minutes elapsed before a surge down the left side by Tiute eventually saw his effort on goal saved by Leenders and go behind for a corner. Tealofi was substituted by Sio Silitone on the half-hour, and scarcely had the switch taken place before Panningen were on the attack, with the Tuvalu goalkeeper spilling an effort from a free-kick by the hosts before saving the follow-up.

With half-time approaching, a cross-shot was missed by Selau and was picked up on the left-hand side of the Tuvalu penalty-area, who delivered a deft pass to Schatorje, who had impressed in the first-half up to that point, but who promptly ballooned the ball over the bar. Litjens then had a shot saved with some comfort by Selau and then, right on half-time, Tuvalu almost sneaked an equaliser when Lepaio's speculative shot bamboozled Bart Leenders in the SV Panningen goal, who, almost prone, fumbled the ball which went over him and just wide of his left-hand post.

Half-time saw SV Panningen go in with a deserved 1:0 lead; Bram Leenders, Joosten and Schatorje were the pick of the bunch for the hosts, whilst Lepaio was steady at the back for the visitors, and Tiute and Musika were a constant source of attacks for Tuvalu.

There were a raft of substitutions by both teams at half-time, and SV Panningen started the second-half the stronger of the two sides, with Nicky Craenmehr shooting just wide in the 48th minute. Three minutes later, substitute Robin van Osch thought he had put Panningen 2:0 up, but, after too much intricate football by his team-mates on the edge of the Tuvalu penalty-area, had moved into an offside position before putting the ball in the net.

A minute later, Filialofa's shot was deflected away to safety, before Panningen substitute Ooms' shot over the bar from 30 yards. Just moments later, Panningen doubled their lead through van Osch, who found himself on the end of a through-ball, and sweetly curled the ball into Selau's lower left-hand corner.

After a short period of pressure from Tuvalu, the 62nd minute saw a mix-up between Willie and Silitone just inside the Panningen half which saw the ball being passed to van Osch, who ran the length of the Tuvalu half and struck a low shot to the left of Selau for the hosts' third.

Another broken-down Tuvalu counter-attack resulted in Joey Bodde rampaging down the visitors' left wing before brushing off Alefaio, who had been having a good game at the back for the visitors, and crossing the ball to van Osch, who rounded off a quick-fire hat-trick by crashing the ball past Selau from around 12 yards out.

Valckx was replaced after the goal by Sepuli Loaha, and, strangely enough, Tuvalu played their best football of the match after his substitution with Loaha at the heart o fmuch of the action. Almost immediately, Tiute finished nicely after a through ball from Loaha, but the goal was ruled out for offside; it was a marginal decision at best, with Tiute appearing to be level with the hosts' defence when the ball was threaded through to him.

Craenmehr then almost made it 5:0 for the hosts, but slipped a split-second before getting his shot in, which Selau gathered without fuss. Tuvalu kept plugging away, and Loaha shot over the bar after a one-two with Tiute, who had been creating havoc down Panningen's left-hand side. 

Moments later, in the 77th minute, with the gloom gathering, Tiute earned Tuvalu a penalty when, having turned Ooms inside-out just inside the penalty-area, the defender could do nothing but give his shirt a tug. James Lepaio took the penalty, but it was a tame effort to the right of substitute goalkeeper Glen Smeets, which was easily smothered by the 'keeper.

may have seen Smeets save his penalty, but he would no doubt have been heartened by the manner in which Tuvalu got on the score-sheet after seventy-nine minutes. Some good play from Tiute on the left resulted in some pinball in the Panningen penalty-area before the ball came back out to Tiute, who put in a low cross, which was then pulled back into the path of Panapa Matoa, who steadied himself before stroking the ball into the lower left-hand corner. Despite missing the penalty, it was no more than the Tuvalu team deserved after a spirited second-half display.

A Panningen breakaway three minutes later saw a pass from the left reach Joosten, who inexplicably sidefooted the ball over Selau's goal. Soon after, a dangerous cross from the right evaded everybody in the Panningen area before the ball ran behind the goal-line; at the other end, Litjens' attempt from distance was put behind by Selau.

The game was petering out by this stage, but not before a second goal was scored by the visitors; a good ball out to the right by Sio Silitone was picked up by Leiato Uoli, who executed a delightful chip over the advancing Smeets from the right-hand side of the Panningen box and into the opposite corner.

That was the last meaningful action of an entertaining, sporting encounter in which SV Panningen just about deserved their victory, but it was also a match in which Tuvalu more than played their part. For the home team, Robin van Osch would be a rightful contender for man of the match thanks to his explosive second-half hat-trick; fellow substitutes Ooms and Bodde were very effective, while Litjens and Craenmehr also played well.

Lepaio played a captain's game for Tuvalu, while Tiute was a constant source of torment for the Panningen defence throughout the game, as was Musika during the first half; Sio Silitone had a commendable second-half while Fatu Alefaio was the proverbial rock at the back. The adventurous Selau, who proved that he was almost as effective at left-back as he was between the sticks, could not be blamed in any way for the four goals conceded.


SUBSTITUTES: 12 Glen SMEETS (GK), 2 Rob BAKKER, 5 Nick VAN DEN BEUCKEN; 9 Matijs HEESEN; 11 Robin VAN DEN OSCH; 14 Maikel OOMS; 19 Joey BODDE; 20 Mathijs BRUMMANS

TUVALU: 1 Tiele SELAU; 15 Fatu ALEFAIO, 3 James LEFAIO, 24 Geoffrey MALEKO, 4 Uota ALE; 8 Taufaiva IONATANA, 5 Eric TEALOFI, 2 Sepe WILLIE; 6 Teake FILIALOFA, 18 Nelesone MUSIKA, 7 Lutelu TIUTE

SUBSTITUTES: Bill TONISE (GK), Stan VALCKX, 11 Sepuli LOAHA, 12 Panapa MAFOA, 14 Leiatu UOLI, 17 Sio SILITONE

AUTHOR'S NOTE: Many thanks to a member of the Panningen board for kindly providing the home team's line-up; with regards to Tuvalu, a lot of guesswork was involved. Apologies to those involved with the Tuvalu squad for any errors contained in the article - there may well be a few; they shall be rectified as soon as they are pointed out. Finally, thanks to Joost (the mini-bus drver) for the lift!

Friday, October 4, 2013


Nuuk's B-67 won the recent men's national championship in Greenland courtesy of a 3:2 win against G-44 from Qeqertarsuaq, but the club's triumph was marred somewhat by the arrest of two of its squad the day before the final on 21/8/13 on suspicion of possession of and intent to sell marijuana.

Binge drinking and drug use apparently occurred during the competition, but, over a month down the line, the true extent of both remains unclear. State TV and radio station KNR stated that the country was in "uproar" following the revelations of alcohol and drug abuse during the competition, while newspaper Sermitsiaq referred to the drugs find as a "scandal." The two B-67 players arrested have been suspended by the club, and also from all GBU (Grønlands Boldspil Union) competition - and, indeed, all sporting within the remit of the GIF (Grønlands Idrætsforbund) - until 1/9/13. B-67, meanwhile, released a statement to the press in which the following (with apologies for any errors in translation) was included:

"It should be made clear that the club takes a strong stance regarding marijuana and other drugs..B-67 Football Club has worked hard on the development of football, in particular focusing on children and young adults, and we are very proud of how far we have come.

"The club has, in addition to a serious approach to training, a number of basic values that we propagate and demand that club members must comply with, such as leading a healthy lifestyle, plus respect for themselves and for others.

"Now the club is allegedly faced with a case that goes against all of its core values, which has left everyone connected with the club very disappointed. 

"B -67 is now considering how we can actively engage in the fight against alcohol and cannabis, which is obviously a big problem in this country."

The two players involved, whose identities were not revealed, were released after questioning by local police in the men's GM play-off competition venue, Qaqortoq. The Deputy Chief Officer of Greenland's police force, Morten Nielsen, was also quoted on the KNR website as saying that no other players or staff were currently helping police with their enquiries. He added that it was "unfortunate that two persons trading in cannabis would lead to unfounded suspicion being placed on the whole team."

Meanwhile, east Greenland's representatives in this year's competition, K-64 from the small town of Kuummiut, also found themselves at the centre of attention after it was reported that a number of the squad had indulged in bouts of binge drinking during the competition, according to an article published in Sermitsiaq on the same day that the two B-67 players were arrested. 

It was even reported as being proposed at one stage by the GBU that there would be no automatic qualification for the final tournament for any club winning the regional tournament in eastern Greenland, but that they would instead have to travel to western Greenland to take part in that region's tournament first, and then come through that. 

It would appear that this proposal has since faltered; should it ever come to pass, it would be prohibitively expensive for any team from the east of the country to travel twice to western Greenland to take part in a football tournament, especially for a village the size of Kuummiut, which has fewer than 350 inhabitants, and would unfairly punish those players from K-64 who did not take part in any of the alleged festivities, not to mention other teams from that side of the country who might win their regional championship in the future.

A pity that both controversies should overshadow what was otherwise quite an historic tournament; it was the first time in the history of the tournament that KNR broadcasted every single game live on television. It was a bold move, given the logistical difficulties of moving an entire outside broadcast unit plus staff down to southern Greenland, and despite one or two glitches with their coverage, it was one which paid off handsomely.

As was perhaps expected, perennial front-runners G-44, who hail from Qeqertarsuaq and who were the northernmost team taking part in the tournament, came top of Group A, drawing 1:1 against group runners-up NÛK, thrashing K-64 8:0 and defeating a spirited Eqaluk 54 by 4 goals to 1.

I-69 were unable to come anywhere near adding the men's title to that of their women's team, who triumphed in their competition in July, losing all three of their games in Group B. B-67, who put six past I-69 in their encounter, won all three of their games to top the group, though they were made to work hard by FC Malamuk before winning 1:0. The Ummannaq side, winners of the national championship in 2004, had to make do with the runners-up spot; K-33 finished third in the group, but did not disappoint.

G-44 and B-67, not unexpectedly, cruised through their semi-finals, defeating FC Malamuk and NÛK respectively, the second match being a Nuuk derby, to set up a much-anticipated - not to mention expected - final.

Four matches took place on finals day, and first up was the seventh-place match between K-64 and Eqaluk 54 from the tiny settlement of Tasiusaq, and K-64's woes continued in the play-off for seventh place as they found themselves on the end of a 6:1 thrashing. 

Inuuteq Petersen opened the scoring in the 25th minute with a free-kick that deceived everyone in red and white before Eli Simonsen added a second on the half-hour. In the second half, Petersen's second and a brace (including a penalty) from Nuqaaraq Knudsen added to Eqaluk 54's total before Frederik Uitsatikitseq pulled one back for K-64 with four minutes left. Piuaattoq Kristiansen rounded off the scoring for Eqaluk 54 in the last minute with a delightful lofted shot into the top left-hand corner of the K-64 net. 

Next on the agenda was the fifth-place play-off between local side K-33 and I-69. As it turned out, three unanswered second-half goals for K-33 against the team from Illulisat saw them take fifth place in the tournament, Nuka Hedtoft Lorentzen's terrific 55th minute half-volley from some 25 yards opening the scoring. Hans Rasmussen coolly added a second ten minutes later, and scored his second and K-33's third in the 91st minute.

In the third-place match, meanwhile, FC Malamuk took the lead against NÛK in the 33rd minute thanks to Morten Fleischer's curling effort from more than 20 yards out, though Minik Petersen levelled for NÛK in the 50th minute following a counter-attack. Jens Peter Dahl scored the winner for NÛK 15 seconds into second-half injury-time.

On to the final itself, then, and it was a match between last year's champions (B-67) and the team which won the championship in 2011 (G-44), and this year's encounter was played before several hundred people. 

Despite B-67 seting up camp in the G-44 half for most of the opening period of the match, it was G-44 who took the lead in the 15th minute, Maasinnguaq Brandt taking advantage of casual B-67 defending before running on, exchanging a one-two with Juannsinnguaq Therkelsen before flicking the ball with the outside of his foot past John Kreutzmann at the near left-hand post.

B-67 kept up the pressure, and equalised in the 32nd minute courtesy of - to use a hackneyed expression - an absolute howler by G-44 goalkeeper Knud Brandt, who completely misread a cross-shot from Maasi Maqe and, instead of catching the ball, dropped it behind his head and fumbled it over the line. The goal was, from a B-67 point of view, thoroughly deserved, but it would have been hard not to sympathise with Brandt, who had performed well up to that point.

Brandt could do nothing about Norsaq Lund Mathæssen's effort which gave B-67 the lead four minutes later; he could only stand and watch after Matthæaessen's fine swivel and subsequent shot from the edge of the area hit the underside of the G-44 crossbar before landing over the line.

It was fairly even until well into the second half, when Frederik Funch scored B-67's third in the 66th minute; some scrappy play in midfield led to the ball being played into the G-44 penalty-area by Hans Karl Berthelsen, where Matthæussen rounded Brandt and attempted a cross-shot, which was fired across the face of goal, and which resulted in Funch clipping the ball from the angle of the six-yard box past G-44 captain Nukannguaq Zeeb's despairing lunge.

G-44, enjoying much more possession since B-67's third goal, got themselves back into the the game eight minutes later, when Zeeb's free-kick found Malik Jeremiassen, whose looping header across Kreutzmann's goal left the B-67 'keeper in no-mans-land and bounced gently into the back of the net.

B-67 could have made the game safe moments later, but Frederik Funch's header from close range was well saved by Brandt. Funch's subsequent attempt to bundle both Brandt and the ball into the net earned him a yellow card; Brandt also ended up in the referee's note-book, but redeemed himself in the 80th minute, coming out on top in a one-to-one against Mathæussen.

The remainder of the match saw a collection of shots from both sides which whistled high or wide, though G-44 almost levelled in the last minute or so of normal time, first through Gedion Kleist, and then Jeremiassen's volley went just wide of Kreutzmann's right-hand post. 

The game ended on a farcical note with Zeeb, who had been booked in the fourth minute of injury-time, earning himself a straight red card for dissent immediately after the final whistle. Referee Daniel Jakobsen kept a rather tight line on things throughout the match, with the only criticism one could level at him being that he was somewhat too liberal with the issuing of yellow cards.

So, in spite of everything, B-67 finished top of the pile and deservedly so, having looked comfortable throughout the competition, and the proof of the pudding was six of their players being included in the Team of the Tournament. 

They will surely be among the favourites to lift the title again next year, when the national championship's final tournament will be held in Nuuk. However, NÛK have been given the right to host the competition in recognition of the 80th anniversary of the club's foundation, and so city rivals B-67 will have to take part in the qualifying stages.

Please find below the results for the final tournament of the 2013 Greenland men's national championship, and also details of the Team of the Tournament.


15/08/13 13:00 G-44 1:1 NÛK
15/08/13 15:00 K-64 2:5 Eqaluk 54
16/08/13 13:00 G-44 8:0 K-64
16/08/13 15:00 NÛK 1:0 Eqaluk 54
17/08/13 13:00 G-44 4:1 Eqaluk 54
17/08/13 15:00 NÛK 3:0 K-64


15/08/13 17:00 I-69 0:1 K-33
15/08/13 19:00 B-67 1:0 FC Malamuk
16/08/13 17:00 I-69 1:6 B-67 
16/08/13 19:00 K-33 1:1 FC Malamuk
17/08/13 17:00 I-69 1:2 FC Malamuk
17/08/13 19:00 K-33 0:3 B-67


19/08/13 14:00 G-44 3:1 FC Malamuk
19/08/13 16:00 B-67 4:0 NÛK


21/8/13 10:00 Eqaluk 54 6:1 K-64


21/8/13 12:00 I-69 0:3 K-33


21/08/13 14:00 FC Malamuk 1:2 NÛK


21/08/13 16:00 G-44 2:3 B-67

G-44: 12 Knud BRANDT; 4 Nukannguaq ZEEB (C), 19 Jan LYBERTH (14 Ilasiannguaq MARTINSEN), 20 Malik JEREMIASSEN, 23 Gedion KLEIST; 7 Steve BROBERG (28 Ulloriaq GRØNVOLD), 9 Juaansinnguaq THERKELSEN, 22 Inooraq SVENDSEN, 26 Inooraq OLRIK (15 Hans Jørgen ZEEB); 8 Maasinnguaq BRANDT, 10 Aputsiaq OLSEN


B-67: 1 John KREUTZMANN; 5 Peter KNUDSEN, 13 Aputsiaq BIRCH, 14 Lars Peter BROBERG (2 Miki PETERSEN), 21 Jakob MØLLER; 6 Anders HEILMANN PETERSEN (C), 9 Johan Ludvig BROBERG, 10 Maasi MAQE; 7 Frederik FUNCH, 11 Malik BERTHELSEN (17 Hans Karl BERTHELSEN), 18 Norsaq Lund MATHÆUSSEN




DEFENDERS: Jakob MØLLER (B-67), Nukannguaq ZEEB (G-44), Aputsiaq BIRCH (B-67), Lars Peter BROBERG (B-67)

MIDFIELDERS: Hans KNUDSEN (K-33), Maasi MAQI (B-67), Kaassannguaq ZEEB (FC Malamuk), Maasinnguaq BRANDT (G-44)


Dahl also won the Fair Play trophy, while Lund Mathæussen won the "Fighter" (most combative player) award.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: Much of the information contained in the article above was taken from articles on both the KNR ( and Sermitsiaq ( websites.