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Monday, July 4, 2016


A hectic weekend of Futsal action in Greenland's capital, Nuuk, saw IT-79 create history by lifting their first men's national title of any description following a one-sided final on 8 May, when they soundly defeated Nagdlunguak-48 by 5 goals to 1. It was the culmination of a period of constant improvement by one of Nuuk's lesser-known sides which has taken place over the last 18 months or so.

The tournament was spilt into two groups: Group A contained holders B-67, last year's runners-up IT-79 - both from Nuuk - Kâgssaksuk (Maniitsoq), FC Malamuk (Uummannaq) and K-1933 (Qaqortoq), whilst another Nuuk side, NÛK, Nagdlunguak-48 (from Ilulissat), G-44 (Qeqertarsuaq), Kugsak-45 and east Greenland's regional champions TM-62 (Kulusuk) made up Group B. As ever, the top two teams in each group would go through to the semi-finals whilst the two third-placed teams would meet in a fifth-place play-off, both fourth-place teams in a seventh-place play-off and the bottom teams in a ninth-place play-off.

Perhaps the biggest surprise of the tournament was the early elimination of reigning champions B-67, who have utterly dominated the indoor game, under both indoor football and Futsal versions, for the past decade, but who had a shocking time of it during this year's competition. Club board member Finn Meinel summed up events thus:

"It was a chaotic tournament for us this time. In the first match [a 3:2 defeat against Kâgssagsuk], we had more possession and and hit the cross-bar and post a number of times. We won the following game [a comprehensive 9:1 victory against FC Malamuk], but lost 1:0 to IT-79 in a game that we had otherwise controlled. Against IT-79, we had most of the possession and they had very few chances, and [they] scored on a counter-attack after a senior player's mistake. In the game we had three shots against the post and missed a penalty. 

"When we faced K-1933 later that day it was already clear that we could not reach the semis, and had not any focus at all. We lost the game to a team we normally would have won against. The other results were against us, as IT-79 lost to Malamuk, leaving us to playing for 9th and 10th place. We [missed two] key players (Malik Juhl and Frederik Funch), but I still feel we had the player material to win the tournament, but luck was not on our side."

They took on eastern Greenland's representatives TM-62 in the battle for the wooden-spoon in the first match played on the final day of the tournament, 8 May. TM-62, from the small village of Kulusuk, had been having a miserable tournament themselves and had lost all four of their group games, conceding 25 goals whilst scoring just four themselves. If the group games were a nightmare for TM-62, then the 9th-place play-off must have been nothing short of apocalyptic. They lost by 20 goals to 2 to the deposed champions, who finally showed something of their traditional form.

The match was followed by the two semi-finals, the first of which featured the Nuuk derby between IT-79 and NÛK, and it was a game which showed the two sides of last year's bronze medallists. IT-79 were impervious in the first half. A goal in the second minute by Hans Karl Berthelsen was followed by a lovely second ten minutes later from Patrick Fredreksen. Five minutes into the second half, IT-79 scored a third and, despite their best efforts - they had not played at all badly - it looked all over for NÛK. However, they came roaring back after that and scored twice in just over a minute, the first an unfortunate own-goal by IT-79's Kuluk Ezekiassen, who was unsighted as he deflected home a free-kick, and this was followed by a goal from Morten Lyberth which was all of his own making. 

What a goal it was, too: he broke up an IT-79 attack, sprinted his way through their defence and unleashed a torpedo which flashed into the net, and this all in less than four seconds flat. With five minutes to go, anything was possible, and IT-79 never really looked comfortable; they could have ended the contest with a minute to go, but Berthelsen somehow failed to prod the ball home, which then came out to Ezekiassen, who managed to hit the bar with the goal gaping. Credit to NÛK who really had the "students" on their toes, but it was IT-79 who made it through to the final.

If the first semi-final was exciting, then the second will surely go down in Greenlandic Futsal history as, to use a hackneyed comment, an absolute classic between Nagdlunguak-48 from Qeqertarssuaq and Greenland's oldest surviving club, K-1933 from the southern town of Qaqortoq. N-48 scored two quick goals through Nick Reimer before K-1933 scored with two minutes to go until the break. Before half-time, though, N-48 added a third to end a frenetic first 20 minutes. K-1933 added a really good second goal through Angula Kielsen six minutes after the break before a bit of Route One Futsal half-way through the second half: a ball out from the goalkeeper followed by Lars Erik Reimer's back header into an empty net. 

There were no more goals during normal time, and so it was on to extra-time, which opened in explosive fashion with both teams scoring within three minutes of the restart to make it 4:4. Aputsiaq Gabrielsen put N-48 back in front with a stunning strike very early on in the second period of extra-time and earned a yellow card for provoking the K-1933 bench. There was plenty of further action and Gabrielsen was denied another goal by a refereeing decision which erred on the dubious, but no more goals that counted and Nagdlunguak-48 had won their place in the final the hard way.

FC Malamuk lost their 7th-place play-off 4:2 against Kugsak-45; it was a rather bitty, lacklustre affair with Kugsak-45 just about deserving their win. The 5th-place play off between Kâgssagsuk, on the other hand, was a much more entertaining affair, with Kâgssagsuk taking an early lead before G-44 hit the crossbar from two yards out a minute before half-time. It was a competitive first half with comparatively few chances, but things ratched up more than somewhat in the second half. G-44 scored twice in seconds in the 22nd minute to take the lead before Kâgssagsuk equalised six minutes later. G-44 took the lead again, and then Kâgssagsuk had the chance to restore parity with five minutes left from the penalty-spot; however, the shot was saved, hit the bar and rebounded to safety. Seconds later, they did equalise with a sublime turn and shot, and the number 11 struck again with a minute to go to ensure that Kâgssagsuk came away with a creditable fifth-place finish.

The third-place play-off between the two losing semi-finalists, NÛK and K-1933, would normally be billed as an anti-climax, but if either team was deflated after losing two titanic semi-finals, none of the players showed it. This match was as dramatic as either of the semi-finals, and, after a cagey first few minutes, Lyberth opened the scoring for the side from the capital with a deft flick-cum-toe-poke after 8 minutes. Aputsiaq Hansen squared things up eight minutes later, side-footing home after the NÛK 'keeper fumbled the ball. Two minutes later, Inuuteq Petersen put K-1933 in front after scoring direct from a corner-kick and Angula Kielsen extended their lead a minute later after intercepting a poor pass, running through and slotting the ball home.

On 23 minutes, Morten Lyberth reduced the arrears with a lovely low shot from distance which would only have reached waist-height around the end of May if it had not been stopped by the back of the K-1933 net. And, as often happens in Futsal, one goal is very rapidly followed by another: Kjeld Frederiksen equalised for NÛK a minute after Lyberth's strike by losing his marker in defence, running onto a through ball and blasting it high into the net on the turn. In the thirty-fifth minute, Petersen, who was standing alone, received the ball following an interception from one of his team-mates; he scarcely took a step as he steadied the ball and  prodded it under the onrushing NÛK goalkeeper. As full-time approached, some of the NÛK players began taking their frustrations out on the match officials, but Miki Efraimsen was not one of them; he levelled with a turn and shot with 1:07 left in the second half. 

There were a couple of chances for both sides during the first half of extra-time but no further goals. The winner came with a little over three minutes to play, and it came courtesy of a run down the right and strike from Hans Knudsen which was beyond the reach of the NÛK goalkeeper. It was a suitable end to a hugely entertaining match, and both teams deserve credit for serving up a wonderfully palatable third-place play-off.
And so to the final between IT-79 and Nagdlunguak-48, which promised to be a game worth watching. Unfortunately for the neutral, this match really was something of an anti-climax with favourites IT-79 seizing control almost from the off, not allowing N-48 time or space to truly settle. Fredriksen should have put IT-79 in front in the 6th minute, but gave himself too much too do after rounding the goalkeeper, but they did eventually hit the front in the 10th minute. Berthelsen went on a circuit of the court before squaring the ball to Motzfeldt, who had the simple task of tapping the ball over the line from 2 yards out. N-48 came into the game more as the half progressed, but IT-79 looked comfortable as the half-time whistle blew.

IT-79's lead was doubled four minutes into the second half after some quick thinking involving Frederiksen, who took a quick kick-in, Berthelsen, who had the presence of mind to fling the ball through a static N-48 defence, and Motzfeldt, who anticipated Berthelsen's intentions and sprinted to the far post unnoticed and unhindered to thunder the ball into the back of the net.

The game was effectively decided by two further IT-79 goals in 30 seconds. The first, after 26 minutes, involved all Kassannguaq Zeeb, Frederiksen, Mink Amondsen - who latched onto Zeeb's perfect long ball and delivered a telling pass of his own - and Jakob Fleischer, who stroked the ball home. The game had no sooner restarted when IT-79 regained possession, Kuluk Ezekiasen picked up the ball, ran through the bewildered defence and side-footed the ball just inside the far post. IT-79 picked up a fifth when Zeeb went on a run and crossed the ball towards the waiting Frederiksen, only for Nick Reimer to intercept and slide the ball into his own net. 

It was a little harsh on N-48, who had been attempting valiantly to find a way back into the game, and on Reimer in particular, who had had a hugely impressive tournament and who had been a real livewire on behalf of Qassannguaq's boys in green. Reimer had a hand in N-48's consolation goal two minutes before the end, when he delivered a through ball to Aputsiaq Gabrielsen, who rounded the 'keeper, bamboozled two defenders who had retreated to the goal-line, and fired a shot high into the net. But, N-48's goal was but a tiny blot on what was otherwise a perfect night for the students; it was IT-79's night, and the celebrations at the final whistle were long and loud, and their first national title a confirmation that the club had finally come of age.

One of IT-79's most influential players during the tournament was defender Anton Overballe, and he had this to say: "Before the tournament started many people in the Greenlandic football family thought and maybe expected it was our turn to go all the way. We had, in the last couple of years been very close to the same level as our biggest rivals, the champions of futsal and outdoor GM, B-67. So the pressure and the expectations were high from day 1. Mainly because we haven't lost a game in a competitive game this year.

"Our first two games were against Kagssagsuk and K-1933. we started a little rusty but cruised through with two expected victories. The most exciting game in the group stage was against the champions B-67, who we lost against in the semi-final of last year's indoor GM after extra time, and in the final of the [national championship]. This year our games have been very close, with two draws in the two previous smaller tournaments. This game was tight, but I think we had control of the game mostly. We went 1:0 up in the first half and tried to control the game to the end. They had several chances to get level and maybe win at the end of the game, but didn't it happen. We won 1:0 and their chances of going through from the group were minimal after this game.

"Our position couldn't have been better, we were close to going through as the group winners and played the last game against my hometown club FC Malamuk. Their tournament was basically over due to a bad start, so their aim was to play for the 7th position and not the 9th position. It was hard to explain this game, we didn't play as we wanted and our tactics didn't workout as planned. They were more hungry in the game, and won 2:1 in the dying seconds.

"We were through to the semis with this year's surprise K-1933, who also won against B-67. The semi final was against the other Nuuk team, NÛK. They have been pretty stable during the tournament and did well in the qualifiers too. They are on the way up and have been competing with us and B-67 since then, and are now doing really good in the City Cup. [NÛK defeated IT-79 2:1 in their first City Cup match, played on 7 June. One consolation for IT-79 is that the City Cup is not a qualification tournament for the national (outdoor) championship.]  

"We played the semi-final against them with confidence and controlled the beginning of the game. We went 3-0 up and looked like we were having an easy day at the office. But the situation almost changed as they scored two quick goals in the closing minutes. But it was too late [for NÛK].

"You know what happened in the final, [because of] our tactics with fast rotations and quick passes, we got our chances and scored 5 goals and conceded one in the end. I think the difference between our team from previous years compared to this year's was the good mix of experienced players and young talents who took more resposibility. We had learned from our defeats and stayed focused and hungry for success and most importantly stayed together as a team. And, not least, good preparations and tactical practice from our coach (Allan Geisler) and captain Kaassannguaq Zeeb [were vital]."

Team-mate Hans Karl Berthelsen was awarded the Player of the Tournament by the GBU, whilst Kaassannguaq Zeeb was awarded the Most Technical Player prize. N-48's Kaali Mathæusen received the Most Combative Player award. Kugsak-45 received the Fair Play award.

06/05/16 16:00 Kâgssagsuk 3:2 B-67 (Dahl, Jørgen Peter Petersen, Kreutzmann; Broberg (2))
06/05/16 20:00 FC Malamuk 3:3 K-1933 (Kielsen, Titussen (2); Løvstrøm, Leibhart, Østergaard)
06/05/16 21:00 IT-79 5:3 Kâgssagsuk (Zeeb, Motzfeldt, Berthelsen (2), OG; Levisen, Holmene, Kreutzmann)
07/05/16 00:00 B-67 9:1 FC Malamuk (Svane (2), Knudsen, Thorleifsen, Broberg (3), Hermann (2); Andersen)
07/05/16 01:00 K-1933 3:7 IT-79 (Kielsen, Geronne, Titussen; Overballe, Motzfeldt (2), Ezekiasen (3), Fredriksen)
07/05/16 16:00 K-1933 4:3 Kâgssagsuk (Nielsen, Hansen, Geronne, Titussen; Møller (3))
07/05/16 18:00 IT-79 1:0 B-67 (Motzfeldt)
07/05/16 20:00 FC Malamuk 3:5 Kâgssagsuk (Leibhart (3); Dahl, Jørgen Peter Petersen (3), Kreutzmann)
07/05/16 22:00 K-1933 4:0 B-67 (Vetterlain, Kielsen, Geronne)
08/05/16 00:00 IT-79 1:2 FC Malamuk(Amondsen; Markussen, Leibhart)

FINAL GROUP POSITIONS: 1 IT-79 (9 points); 2 K-1933 (7); 3 Kâgssagsuk (6); 4 FC Malamuk (4); 3 B-67 (3)


06/05/16 15:00 G-44 5:1 Kugsak-45 (Nuka Aqqalu Broberg, Steve Broberg, Maasinnguaq Brandt, Løvstrøm (2); Samuelsen)
06/05/15 17:00 TM-62 0:8 Nadlunguak-48 (Gabrielsen, Nick Reimer (4), Leibhardt (3))
06/05/16 19:00 NÛK 4:1 G-44 (Larsen, Kristensen, Anders Fredriksen (2); Olrik)
06/05/16 22:00 Kugsak-45 4:2 TM-62 (Rosbach (2), Samuelsen, Grønvold; Mathæusen, OG)
06/05/16 23:00 Nagdlunguak-48 2:0 NÛK (Nick Reimer (2))
07/05/16 17:00 G-44 7:0 TM-62 (Martinsen, Olrik, Steve Broberg, Løvstrøm (2), Kleist (2))
07/05/16 19:00 Kugsak-45 0:4 Nagdlunguak-48 (Svendsen, Nick Reimer, Rosbach, Leibhardt)
07/05/16 21:00 NÛK 6:2 TM-62 (Eskildson, Lyberth (2), Kristensen, Anders Fredriksen, Kjeld Fredriksen; Geisler, Taunajik)
07/05/16 23:00 G-44 3:5 Nagdlunguak-48 (Nuka Aqqalu Broberg, Brandt, Kleist; Lars Erik Reimer, Gabrielsen, Nick Reimer (2), Leibhardt)
08/05/16 01:00 Kugsak-45 1:3 NÛK (Samuelsen; Kleemann, Kjeld Fredriksen, OG)

FINAL GROUP POSITIONS: 1 NAGDLUNGUAK-48 (12 points); 2 NÛK (9); 3 G-44 (6); 4 Kugsak-45 (3); 5 TM-62 (0)



08/05/16 15:00 B-67 20:2 TM-62 (Broberg, Mathiesen, Svane (3), Mathæusen (2), Petersen, Thorleifsen (2), Bidstrup (4), Broberg (3), Hermann (3); Delany (2))


08/05/16 19:00 FC Malamuk 2:4 Kugsak-45 (Johansen, Leibhardt; Grønvold (2), Rosbach, Thomsen)


08/05/16 20:00 Kâgssagsuk 4:3 G-44 (Jakob Petersen (2), Jørgen Peter Petersen (2); Steve Broberg, Løvstrøm, Olrik)


08/05/16 16:00 NÛK 2:3 IT-79 (Ezekiassen OG, Lyberth; Berthelsen, Frederiksen, Peri Fleischer)
08/05/16 17:00 Nagdlunguak-48 5:4 K-1933 AET (FT: 3:3) (Nick Reimer (2), Lars Erik Reimer (2), Gabrielsen; Knudsen, Kielsen, Vetterlain (2))


08/05/16 21:00 NÛK 4:5 K-1933 AET (Lyberth (2), Frederiksen, Efraimsen; Hansen, Pedersen (2), Kielsen, Knudsen)


08/05/16 22:30 IT-79 5:1 Nagdlunguak-48 (Motzfeldt (2), Fleischer, Ezekiassen, Reimer (OG); Gabrielsen)

NOTE: All times shown in CET (Local time in Nuuk -4 hours; e.g. final at 18:30/22:30 CET)


B-67: 14 Lars Peter BROBERG, 2 Taatsiaq MATHIESEN, 3 Niels SVANE, 4 Norsaq L MATHÆUSEN, 5 Peter KNUDSEN, 6 Nikki PETERSEN, 7 Niklas THORLEIFSEN, 8 Johan BIDSTRUP, 9 John Ludvig BROBERG, 10 Maasi MAQE, 11 Ari HERMANN, 12 Loke SVANE

G-44: 1 Knud BRANDT, 4 Zakorat ZEEB, 33 Nuka Aqqalu BROBERG, 16 Ilalisannguaq MARTINSEN, 5 Aalunguaq DANIELSEN, 26 Inooraq OLRIK, 7 Steve BROBERG, 8 Maasinnguaq BRANDT, 9 Ado LØVSTROM, 18 Dido ZEEB, 11 Andrias WILLE, 22 Lars KLEIST

IT-79: 12 Malik MIKAELSEN, 23 Anton OVERBALLE, 33 Kassaannguaq ZEEB, 6 Mikkel B PETERSEN, 46 Peri FLEISCHER, 8 Minik AMONDSEN, 9 Jakob FLEISCHER, 10 Julius MOTZFELDT, 11 Kuluk EZEKIASEN, 31 Isak LYBERTH, 17 Hans Karl BERTHELSEN, 18 Patrick FREDERIKSEN
KÂGSSAGSUK: 1 Hans GABRIELSEN, 3 Jakob PETERSEN, 4 John DAHL, 5 Vlihelm LEVISEN, 7 Nathan MØLLER, 8 Hans Ole KVEIST, 9 Gert SKIFTE, 10 Philip HOLMENE, 11 Jørgen Peter PETERSEN, 12 Klaus EGEDE, 13 Søren KREUTZMANN, 19 Nikolaj NIELSEN

K-1933: 1 Brian KLEIST, 12 Maligiaq PETERSEN, 20 Allan VETTERLAIN, 16 Jan NIELSEN, 10 Erni TELLESSEN, 6 Nikki ISAKSEN, 7 Angula KIELSEN, 8 Hans KNUDSEN, 24 Aputsiaq HANSEN, 11 Inuuteq PETERSEN, 17 Inunnguaq GERONNE, 14 Peter TITUSSEN

KUGSAK-45: 13 Steven SKADE, 3 Aqqalu THOMSEN, 9 Adam POULSEN, 10 Søren Thoring HANSEN, 11 Peter-Frederik SAMUELSEN, 12 Samson Grønvold, 9 Kuka Lars JEREMIASSEN, 14 Karl Peter STREET, 23 Amos ROSBACH, 66 Nukannguaq JERIMIASEN

FC MALAMUK: 1 Rene NIELSEN, 2 Inunnguaq LANGE, 6 Henrik JOHANSEN, 7 Tatsiaq MARKUSSEN, 8 Lars Peter SVANE, 10 Angunnguaq LØVSTRØM, 12 Aqqalunnguaq DAVIDSEN, 14 Mads ANDERSEN, 16 Jens THOMASEN, 18 Hans Peter BERNHARDSEN, 19 Marco LEIBHART, 20 Jens Kleist ØSTERGAARD

NAGDLUNGUAK-48: 12 Gabriel PETERSEN, 2 Minik Olsvig SVENDSEN, 4 Bror GEISLER, 7 Nick REIMER, 8 Karl ROSBACH, 10 Peter LEIBHARDT, 11 Niels Jørgen JENSEN, 14 Kaali L MATHÆUSEN, 17 Aputsiaq GABRIELSEN, 23 Lars Erik REIMER


TM-62: 1 Harald MATHÆUSEN, 3 Otto KUITSE, 4 Hans Miki GEISLER, 9 Kristoffer LYBERTH, 10 Thomas ABELSEN, 11 Kevin DELANY, 12 Jens Ole TAUNAJIK, 14 Hans MARATSE, 15 Sejer MIKAELSEN, 19 Hans MIKAELSEN, 20 Jens MATHÆUSEN, 21 Thomas LYBERTH

ALL-STAR TEAM: Malik MIKAELSEN (IT-79), Kaassannguaq ZEEB (IT-79), Hans Karl BERTHELSEN (IT-79), Lars Erik REIMER (Nagdlunguak-48), Nick REIMER (Nagdlunguak-48)

AUTHOR'S NOTE: Many thanks to Anton Overballe and Finn Meikel for their thoughts, Allan Geisler, and also Christian Laursen (B-67/Nuuk Boldspil Union) for much of the statistical information. Information was also taken from KNR and the Sermitsiaq website.

Apologies for the rather untidy and disorganised-looking article; unfortunately, this can not be changed.