The dawn of a new era

Riveting entertainment and a rite of passage as CBS Sport Football took on Frederiksberg Boldklub in the 2nd round of the Danish Cup.

“My expectations are that we will win! We HAVE to, in my opinion – there HAS to be a difference
between the top of KS and the top of S3”

– Martin Busk, FB. From the match programme, FB v CBS Sport, 07/05/2014

It was the up-and-coming against the establishment, a 7-year old student club against one of the largest and most prestigious clubs in Denmark with over 100 years of history. CBS Sport Football, 3 leagues junior to FB, entered the match with their previous best result beating a weak Series 2 team in the cup tournament 2 years ago. The following round they were outclassed by then-KS team Jægersborg, who, despite a valiant struggle from CBS Sport, coasted through via a 2-0 win with a thorough B-squad. This time, however, there would be no such mercy as FB brought their strongest line-up.

A tough match

There was no doubt it would be a tough match. All the players believed we could do well and create an upset, but the draw had not been kind to us. There were encouraging whispers of “we have talented players” and “anything can happen in the cup”, but deep down we were nervous and feared a resounding thrashing. Our status as underdogs was amplified following a 3-1 defeat against Serie 3 rivals PI a couple of days earlier, while FB warmed up by beating Amager FF 1-8 to move within 2 points of promotion to Denmark’s 4th highest league.

However, it was our chance! As coach Staalager quipped, if we pack ourselves defensively we will have lost in advance. We have to play our game and believe that, if we come out guns blazing, anything can happen. But for the club as a whole, the opportunity reached far wider. We had the chance to show everyone that CBS Sport Football is more than kicking a ball around twice a week; the chance to let everyone know that it is comprised of dedicated volunteers, proactive members, a vibrant social environment, and a small community bound together by the blue & black and their love of the game – in short, a club. And we were not going to let it slip by.

A memorable day

A small spark – the fact that we would be playing on Frederiksberg Stadium – was enough to start a fire of ambition. Players, volunteers, and former members pitched in with ideas on how to promote the event and create a memorable day, as well as offering their help where it was needed. The result: a venue covered with posters, balloons, goody-bags for the supporters, sponsor gifts, match programs, video recordings of the match, photos, live updates, tifosi, a megaphone, drums, and a sale of beer from the fridge and sausages from the grill. Together with 70 supporters (plus a couple from FB) and our mascot, the Panther, the stage was set as the players emerged from the dressing rooms that sunny Wednesday evening at 18:30.

Cheered on from the stands, CBS Sport played out of their skin. The post denied them after 9 minutes, but 5 minutes later FB could only shake their heads in disbelief as CBS Sport deservedly put themselves in front. FB were unimaginative in their attack and passive in their defence, and with CBS Sport making exceptionally few errors, there was little evidence, if any, of the 3-league difference between the teams for the first 45 minutes. In the second half, a yellow card to CBS Sport meant a 10-minute suspension and FB capitalized on their advantage with clinical counter-attacking, and a cross to their striker made it 1-1. But they never established dominance, even as CBS Sport grew markedly tired, and 30 minutes of overtime was a reality.

A very even first half ended with a strong header following a corner, tipping the balance firmly to FB’s advantage, but CBS Sport battled on. And just as everyone thought the game was over, a long ball sailed over the defence and CBS Sport, with what was effectively the last touch of the game, pulled it back to 2-2 and on to penalties. Alas, the fairy-tale ended here as the inside post denied CBS Sport after both goalkeepers made a save each, and FB never looked back – a firm strike to the lower corner of the net on their fifth and final kick sealed the game 6-5 and sent CBS Sport crashing out of the cup.

A terrific effort, both from the players and the supporters carrying them forward, lead to a result way above all expectations. Penalties are always a cruel decider and at that stage it might as well have tipped our way. But we demonstrated we could play with the best, we denied them the victory in ordinary play, and, from a sporting perspective, we showed we are a force to be reckoned with.

See you next year

Words, however, cannot describe the repercussions for the future of the club as a whole or pay adequate tribute to the volunteers who have built the club to what it is today. It is thanks to them that there is a football club based around Copenhagen Business School which now has displayed both the talent to fight for successive promotions, the respect this commands, and an established community to help the club succeed for several seasons to come. So while it is with a heavy heart we wish FB good luck in the next round, we hold our heads high as we add: “see you next year” and revel in their respectful gaze and wry smile that shows they now know we are serious.

For highlights of the match and the ensuing penalty shootout, watch the video below and remember to follow the CBS Sport Youtube channel for future videos. Also see the all the pictures from the match here and like our Facebook page, CBS Sport Football.