Ellan Vannin reach Conifa World Cup semi after shootout

Ellan Vannin reach World Cup semi-final

The Ellan Vannin team reached the semi-finals of the Conifa World Cup after a dramatic penalty shootout against Kurdistan on Wednesday.

The Manx side progressed 4-2 on penalties after the teams could not be separated in normal time, with the match finishing 1-1.

Ellan Vannin (Manx for Isle of Man) will now face Arameans Suryoye in the semi-final in Sweden on Friday.

The Conifa World Cup is the inaugural world cup for non-FIFA nations.

Ellan Vannin make waves at World Cup

It is the first international competition the Ellan Vannin side have contested.

The Manx side won their group after beating Nagorno Karabakh 3-2, with two goals in the last five minutes, and a 4-2 win over Countea Di Nissa FA (County of Nice.)

Chief executive of the Manx International Football Alliance Malcolm Blackburn said: "We are absolutely delighted at the achievement of the players and management, both on and off the field.

"They have been true ambassadors."

The second semi-final will see the County of Nice play South Ossetia, a disputed region of Georgia.

A Ellan Vannin spokesman said: "It's real fairytale stuff beating sides with overwhelmingly bigger populations and featuring professional players in their ranks.

"Passion, hard work, commitment and tactical awareness is getting the guys through against technically superior sides."

The final will be played at the Jamtkraft Arena in Ostersund on Sunday.

The tournament is being contested by 12 teams from five continents, including Darfur United, Occitania and Zanzibar.