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ConIFA World Football Cup

WATCH: Wild scenes as Northern Cyprus book World Football Cup final place

17:02 BST 08/06/2018
CONIFA Northern Cyrpus 07062018
Northern Cyprus booked a historic place in Saturday's CONIFA World Football Cup final after twice coming from behind to see of favourites Padania

There were scenes of unbridled joy at Carshalton Athletic as Northern Cyprus booked their place in the 2018 CONIFA World Football Cup final after a dramatic victory. The Northern Cypriots twice fought back from behind to defeat a talented and well-organised Padania side, who were favourites for the tournament.

After a cagey first half-hour in which both sides passed well and defended resolutely, the Italians broke the deadlock with a goal from Riccardo Ravasi. Northern Cyprus had looked in control of the game, but Padania seemed to be playing within themselves and the goal came on the counter-attack.

But the lead didn't last long, with Player of the Tournament contender Billy Mehmet equalising just six minutes later. Padania gave the ball away down the right and it was fed into Mehmet's feet by Kenan Oshan. There was still a lot to do for the former Irish under-21 international, but he turned well, held off a defender, and slid the ball home from inside the box.

Again, the joy was short-lived, however, with Padania silencing the lively Northern Cypriot support with a goal from Nicolo Pavan after some outstanding combination play.

It was a dreadful blow for the Northern Cypriots, coming just before half-time, and appeared to take the wind out of their sails for some time.

Padania, marshalled brilliantly by former Lazio star Marius Stankevicius, held out stoically until the 80th minute, when a bit of accidental head-tennis from a corner allowed Halil Turan to nod home the equaliser.

The balance of the game was changed in an instant, with the crowd loudly and passionately backing the men in red.

All of a sudden, the Northern Cypriots were dominant, and they duly grabbed the winner just four minutes later. Up popped that man Mehmet once again with a cool side-footed finish to secure a 3-2 victory and send his side into Saturday's final in Enfield.

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