Three hundred fans filled St Paul’s Sports Ground in central London, the home of Fisher FC, to watch Cascadia take on Tamil Eelam. Cascadia were playing for a place in the quarter-finals, while Tamil played for the pride of their raucous supporters.
It was a hot day at St Paul’s, with two water breaks in the first half alone. After a strong start by Tamil Eelam, on 10 minutes the score was opened from the penalty spot by Cascadian forward Jon Nouble following a foul by the goalkeeper. After a couple smart saves by Cascadia’s keeper Marment, the score was doubled by Cascadia’s Tayshon Haden-Smith, who spun in the box and volleyed into the roof of the net.
At half time, Cascadia led 2-0. In Group A’s other fixture, however, Barawa led Ellan Vannin 1-0, meaning that unless the Cascadians could score three more, they would still be heading to the placement matches and not on to the knockout stages.
The second half began evenly, but the Cascadians knew they needed to improve their goal difference, and soon they launched an incredible onslaught. Two goals by Yuri Farkas and Hayden-Smith brought the score to 4-0, and despite a red card to defender Matt Braem soon afterwards, their momentum did not slow. Jon Nouble curled a goal into the top corner to make it 5, and minutes later, hard-working Calum Ferguson broke through to make it 6.
In the final minutes Tamil Eelam pushed hard for a goal to reward their loud and loyal support, but they could not find one, and the final whistle capped an incredible effort by Cascadia, whose goal difference qualified them above Ellan Vannin and into the quarter finals. Last-placed Tamil Eelam were outclassed, but they will have further chances to entertain their supporters in the placement stages.