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Archive for August, 2011

Honours Even, as Långholmen and Vasasällskapet draw 1:1.

Monday, August 29th, 2011

Grumblings about overlapping fixtures framed the Stripes Monday night football; with the Långholmen R1 team facing a pivotal top of the table clash the 1st team squad was down to the bare bones. Not that it mattered that much really; the referee at Stadshagen ensured that the game never got out of second gear and for all the huffing and puffing it ended all square. Still good to see LFC legends Robbie Graham and Deri Thomas donning the shirts, as the average age of the first team peaked for the season. I say shirts… actually it was bibs, since the referee’s first moment of brilliance was to decide that he could not tell the difference between black and blue. So the stripes donned fluorescent bibs of the kindergarten kind…

Vasasällskapet are a team of big units. But they collapsed like a house of cards in the tackle and some of their theatricals were shameful. Apart from a long ball they don’t carry too much of a threat but they equalled a rather lackluster Stripes in the first period. Both teams created few clear cut chances, as Långholmen struggled to get a foothold in the game. Passing was hurried and sometimes forced, and when they did get behind the Vasa the final ball needed just a bit more quality.

When Wille Karlsson switched to the right wing, he immediately started to have a bit of joy; providing width and pace that troubled the rotund home defence. A couple of times he got behind them and one cross to Allen at the back post provided the best chance of the half. Allen’s header fizzing just over the bar. The 19 foot 27 stone Vasa forward then put a header against the top of the bar from a corner, but Ben had it covered.

By this time the referee had booked five or six Långholmen players for a variety of inocuous enough challenges. Any flow or rhythm to the game was completely destroyed and both sets of players were left scratching their heads. He bizarrely booked a Vasa player before the beginning of the second half too, for an unidentified misdemeanor that no one could quite understand. The game needed a goal, and Vasasällskapet delivered it from their fourth or fifth corner of the second half. A deep cross to the back post was volleyed back through a sea of legs to squeak inside the near post. Soft.

This was the kick up the ass that the Stripes needed, and from that moment on they dominated. They were much sharper all over the pitch and started to really hurt the tiring home team. Wille played a blinder on the right wing, defensive pairing of Sund and McClelland looked very solid against formidable opponents and Chris Allen was a constant threat. The ref was still whistle whistle whistle; every solid challenge was penalised and he was dishing out cards like Clinton’s so it was hugely frustrating experience for the players and fans alike.

The Stripes were chasing the game. They had their tails up, and had turned the momentum of the game firmly in their favour. After sustained pressure, a couple of half chances and good blocks by the keeper, Paul Sullivan slipped a lovely ball in to Chris Allen who took a touch before tucking the ball away on the angle. Tidy. With 15 minutes to play it felt like the Stripes could go on to win it. Sadly the ref had other ideas; Pete McConnell was given his marching orders for a second yellow (for a ball winning challenge in the opposition 18 yard box) when the linesman had actually already flagged for offside. Speechless.

Down to ten men, the stripes continued to swarm forward and Deri Thomas had the chance to seal the win when the ball broke to him inside the box. It was a sharp chance and the keeper did well to block with his legs. In the dying seconds a through ball caught the home keeper (another giant of a man) out of position, and when he collided with Thomas  in a 50:50 outside the box the ref whistled and gave the advantage to Vasa with the unguarded goal at the Stripes mercy. It was a horror show, and the Stripes did well to maintain their composure and take a point home.

Overall, disappointing to only get a draw, especially after a strong second half performance. But something to build on as Långholmen look forward to entertaining old rivals and league leaders Ekerö at home on Saturday. A result there will certainly put a shine on the season and build confidence going into the Stockholm Cup semi final on the 7th September. All to play for.

LFC Squad

Ben (GK); Ahmed (LB), Sund (D), Mcclelland (D), Karlsson (RB), Sullivan (CM), Harkness © (RM), Phillips (CM), McConnell (CM), O’Sullivan  (CF), Allen (CF). Subs: Graham (85), Thomas (60)

MOTM – Wille Karlsson; Stella performance, and the best looking player on the pitch.

Ref Watch – Ruined the game. 0/5

Långholmen FC’s next league game of the season is on Saturday 3rd September at Essinge IP against Ekerö FK – KO 14:00.

Hope to see you there.


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Långholmen’s winning streak comes to an end against Järla.

Wednesday, August 24th, 2011

A lovely evening turned sour for the Stripes when they conceded late on in a hard fought encounter down at the Rock. A young Järla side showed good spirit throughout and deserve credit for their victory, but Långholmen will be disappointed that they let the points slip through their fingers after clawing their way back into the match.

The Stripes started well in an eventful first 20 minutes. The tempo and passing was good and Långholmen looked the more threatening side; but a long diagonal ball over the top caught the LFC defence square and the tricky right winger for Järla went through on goal. He scuffed his shot wide but Ben caught him late and the ref had little option but to point to the spot. The penalty was dispatched with ease into the bottom left to put the away side in the driving seat.

Only two minutes later and the same searching ball over the top sprung the LFC offside trap again. The same winger sprinted through on goal only for Batman to tumble through the back of him and save the day. Unfortunately it was another penalty and probably a red card, but the Argentinean referee had obviously seen much worse on the back streets of Buenos Aires and only issued a yellow. Bizarrely Järla changed their penalty taker, and this time Ben made an excellent save diving high to his right to parry the ball wide. Reminiscent of Dave Beasant’s against Ian Rush in the 1998 FA Cup Final. (minus the hair).

The Stripes were under the cosh for a while after this, and did well to steady the ship. A couple of decent chances came their way with both Sammba and Allen looking dangerous on the counter. O’Sullivan had the best chance of the first half when a lovely dummy from Allen put him clean through on goal; the Järla keeper stood up well to save when the striker looked destined to score.

The half-time whistle brought some respite and LFC made a couple of tactical changes to try to turn the game around. These almost had an instant effect as the Stripes started to dominate the second half. Järla lost their rhythm and control of the centre of the park and the Stripes flooded forward in search of an equaliser.  Sammba, who had a superb game all round, was denied by a fingertip save as the pressure mounted.

The Stripes equaliser was moment of class. Luca Ohman showing great dexterity for a big man to dazzle a couple of defenders before feeding Hentmark on the edge of the box. Despite preferring his left foot, he took a touch a cracked a right foot dipper that pinged in off the underside of the bar. Phenomenal.

Långholmen were in the ascendancy after that and pushed hard for the winner, knowing that a draw would probably not be enough for them to challenge the league leaders. And the winner almost arrived from a set piece, Sullivan curling in a peach of a cross, which Allen nodded just over.

Sadly for LFC, the footballing gods were smiling on the young guns of Järla and with four minutes remaining they carved out a rare shooting chance from the edge of the box. The shot was not struck cleanly and what looked like a routine save for Ben somehow squeezed inside the near post and into the net. Tragic.

But Långholmen have been on a good run, they have managed to recapture the form and sense of belief that had been lacking the early part of the season and with some fortune and a stronger bench they might well have earned all three points again here tonight. Bigger challenges await, and who knows, the Stripes might even do Järla a favour before the end of the season.

LFC Squad

Ben (GK); Thorell (LB), Thornley (D), Mcclelland (D), Karlsson (RB), Sullivan (CM), Ohman (RM), Burris (CM), O’Sullivan © (LM), Sammba (CF), Allen (CF). Subs: Phillips (6), Hentmark (45), Graham

MOTM – Baydi Sammba Sowe; A potent combination of power and pace.

Ref Watch – Talked to the players and got the big decisions right(ish). 3/5.

Långholmen FC’s next league game of the season is on Monday 29th August at Stadshagen IP against Vasasällskapet FK – KO 20:00.

Hope to see you there.


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Långholmen FC cruise to 5-2 victory at home to Mariebergs SK.

Wednesday, August 24th, 2011

Slashing rain greeted the players at the Rock; conditions that traditionally suit the British and Irish players and this game was no different. LFC dominanted from the first whistle, confirming the gulf between the teams in the league table and running out comfortable 5-2 winners against old rivals Mariebergs.

The stripes incisive movement was too much for the inexperienced Mariebergs team to cope with, and with the game being played at a high tempo it looked like LFC could score with every attack.

The first goal came from a set piece; O’Sullivan swung in a tempting corner from the left and McClelland lost his marker to chest the ball in at the near post. Nice tits. Mystic McClelland had predicted a goal in the warm up, and it was just reward for another solid game by the man from Northern Ireland. He might have even bagged another moments later when a slick move opened up a chance for him inside the box. The Mariebergs keeper stood his ground and blocked the chance.

Långholmen peppered their opponent’s goal, with both Allen and Bergström bringing fine stops from the Mariebergs #1. The unplayable Allen skipped through a couple of challenges, taking the long way around, before sliding a left footed finish back across the keeper for goal number two.

From this point onwards it was the Chrissy Allen show. His second was a thunderbolt that streaked into the postage stamp from 25 yards. The crowd, the keeper, the bench, the ref and most of Essinge were left breathless such was the stunning sweetness of his connection.

At 3-0 and cruising the stripes dropped their guard. A momentary lapse of concentration and quality free kick from the young Mariebergs star pulled one back on the stroke of half time. The beginning of the second half was scruffy and Mariebergs pulled another goal back from a set piece. The Stripes defence allowed the ball to bounce in the box and the MSK striker scuffed the ball past a wrong-footed Ben in goal.

With the game poised at 3-2 with 20 minutes to go the result was never really in doubt as the stripes put their foot back on the gas. Superior fitness and strength in depth from the bench confirmed the LFC dominance in this fixture, and two further Chris Allen goals put the icing on the cake. The first a clinical close range finish after some fine work by Luca on the left, and the second (his fourth) a superb solo run outstripping the tired defence to slot home off the post.

The stripes front man has been in threatening form since his return from injury and this performance puts down a significant marker in his quest for the golden boot. Långholmen can now turn their attentions to the teams above them in the table, starting with Järla on Wednesday night.

LFC Squad

Ben (GK); Thorell (LB), Thornley (D), Mcclelland (D), Karlsson (RB), Sullivan (CM), Leo (RM), Bergström (CM), O’Sullivan © (LM), Hentmark (CF), Allen (CF). Subs: McConnell (55), Phillips (45), Ohman, (55)

MOTM – Chris Allen; You can’t touch Chris.

Ref Watch – Very consistent from the man in black. Good performance. 4/5.

Långholmen FC’s next league game of the season is on Wednesday 24th August at Essinge IP against Järla – KO 20:00.

Hope to see you there.


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LFC late show grinds out dramatic victory at Turkiska

Saturday, August 13th, 2011

Let’s be honest, this wasn’t pretty. But you know what they say about teams that win when they are not playing well. This was Långholmen at their gritty and resolute best; overturning a 1-0 deficit at half-time to win the battle 1-2. The Stripes squad depleted by injury and tired from 2 games already this week were looking down the barrel, but they stuck to their task and got the result that their hard work deserved.

Colonel Graham was marshalling the troops tonight and this result had his identity stamped all over it. Robust. Defiant. Hardworking and Honest. The lads deservedly pulled this one out of the fire with a display that could only be described as showing ‘real character’. If we could bottle that now infamous elixir called ‘Långholmen Spirit’ then without doubt we would all be sipping cocktails on a beach in Costa Rica; such is the quality of it’s vintage.

This was a tight and hostile match. Let’s make no mistake about it the Turkiska team are not mugs and they thoroughly enjoyed beating LFC on home soil earlier this season. Exposing the soft underbelly of a team in turmoil. But tonight they were outfought and outplayed and can have no complaints about the result, despite the tardiness of the final drama.

The first half was a scappy affair, with some meaty challenges combined with silky passing to entertain the locals. The home side took the lead after 22 minutes when a simple ball over the top caught the stripes defence square. Their bow legged winger raced onto the loose ball and clumsily lobbed the ball over the advancing keeper. 1-0.

Precision was lacking from the Stripes, who looked a little heavy legged at times after their exploits on Tuesday. Too many loose passes or heavy touches meant that the game lacked rhythm and the plum shaped Turkiska keeper did not have a save to make in the first 45. The stripes had seen enough to think that they could get a result, when a gorgeous move by Turkiska put their striker through on goal inside the box. His mishit shot rebounded off the inside of the post and across the goal line. Luckily the ball stayed out and LFC went into the dressing room only 1-0 down.

Orders were given at the break; the Stripes certainly looked hungrier in the second period as they gained the upper hand. The game became stretched, there were some unsavoury exchanges and a flurry of yellow cards as Turkiska used every trick in the book to disrupt play. Yet with 25 minutes gone in the second period the Stripes still lacked the killer ball to break down a stubborn defence.

Långholmen needed a moment of magic and it unexpectedly arrived from the left boot of Andrew O’Sullivan. Pulling down a cross from the right, and with his back to goal, he used one touch to steady himself before drilling back across the keeper and into the corner from the edge of the box. Unstoppable.

From this moment on the Stripes played with a ruthless expectancy of a team full of confidence. A smart move involving Luca, Allen and O’Sullivan put Sammba clean through moments later but he blasted over in what would be an eventful night for the youngster.

Bergström entered the fray with his signature gallop, bashing through challenges, thumping into headers, and intimidating people with his beard. He provided a foil for Harkness whose energetic defence and raking passes were causing problems for a tiring Turkiska.

There were some handbags, and the ref had his hands full dealing with both sets of players and the benches. One Turkiska player overstepped the mark with about 5 minutes to go and saw red for dissent. And unfortunately he missed the late drama that was about to unfold.

With only a couple of ticks left, Allen chased a lost cause and got behind the home defence. His collision with the keeper rebounded the ball into the path of O’Sullivan on the edge of the box. His first shot (or two) was smothered by the sprawling defenders, but he recollected the rebound inside the 6-yard box only to be chopped down. Stone wall PK.

Captain Harkness took responsibility for the penalty despite two previously unsuccessful attempts. His well placed side-foot was athletically saved high to the keepers left, and met with cheers and jeers from a relieved home crowd.

But what late drama as the resulting corner was swung in by Ohman and met powerfully by a charging Otis Burris. His first header was blocked but he made no mistake by roofing the rebound and circling off with shirt pulled over his head. Emotions running high; damn right they were.

LFC closed out the win, but an unnecessary fracas at the final whistle meant that Sammba collected a second yellow card and his marching orders. Långholmen meanwhile collected the points and can feel very content this evening nursing a 100% record since the break and a four game winning run. Buoyant.

LFC Squad

Ben (GK); Thorell (LB), Ahmed (D), Mcclelland (D), Karlsson (RB), Harkness© (CM), Goldberg (RM), Burris (CM), O’Sullivan (LM), Sammba (CF), Allen (CF). Subs: Phillips (45), Bergström (60), Ohman (45)

MOTM – Billy Harkness; Courageous shift at the heart of the team.

Ref Watch – Handled the hostilities with droid like efficiency 4/5.

Långholmen FC’s next league game of the season is on Saturday 19th August at Essinge IP against Marieberg – KO 14:00.

Hope to see you there.


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Five Star Stripes beat Spånga 5-1 at the Rock.

Saturday, August 13th, 2011

Essinge IP, or The Rock as the jubilant Stripes fans like to call it has hardly been a fortress this season, but this performance from a rampant LFC is proof that the team has turned a corner. Comfortable winners against Spånga, manager Lascelles will relish the return of the now infamous Långholmen spirit and it can be said that the first team has found it’s mojo again.

The stripes were on top from the first whistle, dominating territory and possession, as the young Spånga side seemed rather out of their depth. After a couple of good chances went begging Andrew O’Sullivan opened the scoring for the stripes; reacting first to a rebound off the crossbar to fire home on the volley.

The stripes should really have added to this in the first half, but in fact it was Spånga who scored next direct from a corner. To give Spånga credit they really raised their game for 20 minutes and it took a couple of first class saves from Ben to stop them from taking the lead. LFC were happy to hear the half time whistle so that they could regroup.

Too often this season the Stripes have been guilty of not converting their dominance into points but they started the second half with a purpose and intensity that most teams in this league would struggle to cope with. Leo banged in the second from a free kick, expertly curling the ball up and over the wall to leave the keeper rooted. A mature performance overall from the new kid on the block.

O’Sullivan intercepted a poor kick from the keeper to set up Sammba for the third; the young striker slotting home from the edge of the box. The fans were enjoying themselves, hearty renditions of the terraces’ favourite songs floated over the second half as the Stripes turned the screw.

Samba was fouled in the box, dusted himself down and powerfully picked his spot with the resulting PK for the fourth. And there was still time for hard working Chris Allen to streak through the ragged defence, skip round the last man and clip the ball into the corner off the base of the post. Class act.

A good night for the Stripes, smiles all round and some demons exercised as the cogs are all starting to fall into place. It looks like LFC are hitting some form at the right time with a cup semi final around the corner.

LFC Squad

Ben (GK); Thorell (LB), Burris (D), Mcclelland (D), Karlsson (RB), Harkness© (CM), Leo (RM), McConnell (CM), O’Sullivan (LM), Sammba (CF), Allen (CF). Subs: Ahmed (75), Bergström (50), Hentmark (45), Thornley (45)

MOTM – Andy McClelland; Playing out of his skin at the moment.

Ref Watch – Mr Worthington was on duty at the Rock; not much escaped him. 4/5.

Långholmen FC’s next league game of the season is on Friday 12th August at Spånga IP against Turkiska – KO 20:00.

Hope to see you there.


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Långholmen FC cruise to 3-0 victory away at Boo FF.

Saturday, August 6th, 2011

A solid start to the second half of the season earned the Stripes three points and many positives to take forward. A young Boo FF side gave the stripes an early scare when they had a very good shout for a penalty turned down by the referee – but the excellent LFC defence marshalled by McClelland kept the Boo attack in their pocket after this.

After sparring for the first 20 minutes Långholmen started to dominate and some sustained possession and territory had their young opponents on the ropes. The fresh partnership of Sammba and Hentmark upfront kept the pressure on the Boo defence high up the pitch, which meant that the stripes midfield could control the game.

After creating a couple of half chances, the pressure finally told when Sammba’s telescopic limbs baffled a defender in the box and he was hauled down for a penalty. Harkness stepped up and blasted the ball against the bar, but the writing was on the wall from this point and Långholmen rallied to take the lead in the 35th minute.

Some fine triangulated one touch passing through midfield caressed the ball to Hentmark on the left; he found strike partner Sammba in behind the defence who despite the amorous attentions of a Boo defender volleyed across the keeper and into the onion bag. Instinctive.

The message at halftime was for more of the same, and not to drop the intensity level. Fitness could be a factor following the break but the LFC midfield looked tireless as Paul Sullivan rolled back the years with another excellent display. His ball winning and distribution at the heart of midfield dictated the tempo of the game. Alex Bergström added energy and physicality as he clattered about the pitch on his first team debut, while another new face Leo looked very comfortable on the right hand side of midfield.

With only one goal separating the teams the game opened up in the second half; Boo pushed forward in search of an equaliser, which left gaps for the stripes to exploit. It was end-to-end stuff on a beautiful grass pitch, which was great for football and entertaining to watch. With 20 minutes to go, Ahmed pinged one over the top of the Boo defence, Sammba ran through on goal only to be scythed down from behind on the penalty spot. After some delay, Paul Sullivan stepped up and coolly placed the resulting spot-kick into the top left corner to extend the stripes lead. Consistent

There was still time left for Sullivan to hit the post with a delicious left foot curler, and collect a booking as he completed a busy evening.

The third stripes goal was the icing on the black and white cake; constructed with ‘Sensible Soccer™’ style precision passing as Bergström slipped O’Sullivan inside the left back and his cut back was rammed into the net with glee by captain Billy Harkness. Teamwork.

This solid team performance by Långholmen has given the management team a few selection headaches on a balmy evening out in Björknäs – Just the sort of headaches they like.

LFC Squad

Allen (GK); Thorell (LB), Ahmed (D), Mcclelland (D), Karlsson (RB), Harkness© (CM), Goldberg (RM), Sullivan (CM), McConnell (LM), Sammba (CF), HentmarkCF). Subs: Burris (25), Bergström (35), O’Sullivan (35) Leo (55)

MOTM – Paul Sullivan. 3 goals in 3 games = rich vein of form.

(Special mention for Chris ‘Cool Customer’ Allen for donning the gloves again tonight – didn’t put a foot wrong)

Ref Watch – Very good, and managed the game with a smile on his face. 5/5.

Långholmen FC’s next league game of the season is on Tuesday 9th August at Essinge IP against Spånga – KO 20:00.

Hope to see you there.


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Stripes win again as King Kenny double sinks Järla.

Friday, August 5th, 2011

Långholmen saved their best until last, overturning a 1-0 deficit with a spirited second half display against a talented Järla side. This result was the perfect demonstration of the stripes bouncebackability and means they can enter the Summer break with something positive to build on in August.

Despite the evening sunshine, the game did not start brightly for LFC who went behind after just 5 minutes. Långholmen keeper Ben spilled a routine cross into the path of the lanky Järla striker, and he ruthlessly punished the mistake. Too often this season the Stripes have wobbled after conceding goals, and the first half was really a case of just digging in and not letting the game slip away. So it became a scrappy affair, with both teams guilty of panic football – rushing and gifting away possession far too easily.

The game was not helped by a fussy referee who felt inclined to book several players for dissent and several more for innocuous looking challenges when perhaps a firm hand on the shoulder was all that was required. LFC playing in their Facebook Blue away kit did manage to steady the ship and put together some sustained pressure of their own – Wille Karlsson was very unlucky not to score following a nod down from Kenny. The same man causing problems for Järla down the left before a heavy collision with the keeper caused him to suffer a burst six-pack.

Järla are a talented side, and their position in the league table is wholly justified based on this evidence. They created a couple more gilt edged chances in the first period – only to be denied by a top class save from Ben and some rather desperate last ditch defending.

The Stripes management seemed keen to get their team in at the break and whatever was said certainly had the desired effect. A stiff upper lip was required – which is always easier said than done – and Långholmen powered out of the blocks, pressing higher up the pitch and dominating their opponents from the first whistle. The three changes were pivotal in the turnaround; Sammba was a constant threat upfront, Sullivan anchored the midfield and Öhman got plenty of joy out on the right.

Whenever the Stripes put four or five crisp passes together they caused Järla problems. Baydi flashed a shot just wide and the confidence seemed to flow from there. After 55 minutes the ball was worked smartly down the right, Kenny rolled the ball inside to Paul Sullivan who hit an unstoppable left foot drive that fizzed into the net. Game on.

Ten minutes later Harkness ran onto a perfectly weighted pass and waltzed around the fullback who was done all ends up and his clumsy challenge earned the Stripes a penalty. The stripes skipper took the penalty himself, which was saved at full stretch, only for Mattias Larsson to smash the rebound into the roof from a narrow angle. Cue Bebeto 1994 style celebrations.

The stripes were rampant after this, and Colm Kenny ‘wrecked’ the final quarter with a brace that will go down in Stripes legend. The first was a Colly Classic – executed in the sort of effortless style that we have grown accustomed to. With his back to goal, and several easier options to choose from, the big man rolled his marker and curled a beautiful left foot strike into the top left corner from 20 yards. The fans went berserk, and Kenny hurdled the advertising boards to hug the travelling support. The ref to his credit saw the funny side.

His second was even more unusual – put clean through down the inside right channel he took his shot early, completely baffling the keeper with a googly finish inside the near post. Never before have the poor kids at Järla witnessed a more obscene celebration involving Kenny, the corner flag and an unspecified sexual act.

Everyone was pretty exhausted after that, and the game was played out firmly by the stripes who showed their true character and ruthlessly closed out game. Success in this league is built on the team’s toughness as much as it is their ability, and LFC showed that they can fight for a result and win ugly when necessary. This second half performance should be a benchmark for the rest of the season.

LFC Squad

Ben (GK); Philips (LB), Ahmed (D), Mcclelland (D), Sund (RB), Harkness© (CM), Larsson (RM), Burris (CM), Karlsson (LM), O’Sullivan (CF), Kenny (CF). Subs: Sammba (45), Öhman (45), Sullivan (45) Goldberg (75)

MOTM – King Colm Kenny; simply one of a kind.

Ref Watch – A bit fussy, but also consistent which is all we can ask for. 3/5.

Långholmen FC’s next league game of the season is on Friday 5th August at Björknäs IP against Boo IF – KO 20:00.

Hope to see you there.


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