So near, yet so far. Fulham DFC in quarter final agony
DCL ANTALYA, TURKEY 2015 – QUARTER FINAL
Fulham DFC 1-1 Globen Sport Aarhus (lost 3-4 on pens) (on 23/04/2015 – Report by Jason Mycroft)
Fulham DFC were eliminated from the Deaf Champions League on penalties in a very frustrating game. Fulham battled against torrid windy conditions, questionable referee decisions and a Globen Sport Aarhus side, who will be counting their blessings at progressing.
In a formation change up, Fulham switched to a 4-4-1-1 with Ben Lampert playing in the hole and it almost paid dividends when he was fouled early on to win a penalty. With the chance to give Fulham an early lead, Lampert had his tame penalty saved by the keeper.
Determined to make up for the wasted opportunity, Fulham continued to press however they grew more and more frustrated with Globen Sport Aarhus’ antics. A very stop start first half was filled with fouls, playacting and the customary yellow card for Daniel Waller.
Fulham came close on a number of occasions, the closest perhaps being when a cross hit Daniel Rumney’s face but could not be steered into the goal.
Fulham’s defence was absolutely formidable with their reading of the game and tackles, including one brilliant slide challenge from Thai Rickford. Their only mistake – if it could even be called that- was allowing the Globen Sports Aarhus winger to cut inside from the left flank, shooting to blast it in the back of the net.
Fulham will contemplate on the ‘what ifs’ as moments before the goal, Waller had gone to the ground twisting his ankle, leaving the center of Fulham’s defensive shape a man short.
The score did not reflect the performance and Fulham persisted, although growing more and more frustrated with the game. Their perseverance paid off when Fil Kamps, after a mini goal mouth scramble following a corner, had a shot hit a defender’s hand.
Daniel Hogan, replacing the injured Waller, converted the resulting penalty with ease. But as penalties loomed, Fulham put almost everything they had into getting a winning goal before that, but to no avail. The closest they came was when Hogan played an exquisite cross for Nick Gregory.
But in scenes almost identical to the first match against Paris, faced with an open goal, Gregory’s header was shockingly directed into the goalkeeper’s hands. It was a header that a defender would have been proud of, had they been trying to stop the goal.
But Fulham had to gamble on penalties to see them through. With Fulham going first, Philip Swift converted his. Up next was Daniel Hogan who -in a repeat of the the previous two penalty shoot outs- failed to score when the goalkeeper saved his penalty. Both Fil Kamps and Ben Lampert scored their penalties, but when Gregory’s penalty went wide, a distraught Fulham team were confirmed to be out of the competition, now only fighting for 5th to 8th place.