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Kaiserslautern's Jonathan Millet tackles International School of Brussels' Livio de Bok in a Division I semifinal at the DODDS-Europe soccer championships at Reichenbach, Germany. ISB won the game 5-3 to advance to Thursday's final against Ramstein.

Kaiserslautern's Jonathan Millet tackles International School of Brussels' Livio de Bok in a Division I semifinal at the DODDS-Europe soccer championships at Reichenbach, Germany. ISB won the game 5-3 to advance to Thursday's final against Ramstein. (Michael Abrams/Stars and Stripes)

Kaiserslautern's Jonathan Millet tackles International School of Brussels' Livio de Bok in a Division I semifinal at the DODDS-Europe soccer championships at Reichenbach, Germany. ISB won the game 5-3 to advance to Thursday's final against Ramstein.

Kaiserslautern's Jonathan Millet tackles International School of Brussels' Livio de Bok in a Division I semifinal at the DODDS-Europe soccer championships at Reichenbach, Germany. ISB won the game 5-3 to advance to Thursday's final against Ramstein. (Michael Abrams/Stars and Stripes)

Wiesbaden's Charles Thomas clears the ball against Ramstein's Keal Collins in a Division I semifinal at the DODDS-Europe soccer championships at Reichenbach, Germany. Ramstein won 2-0.

Wiesbaden's Charles Thomas clears the ball against Ramstein's Keal Collins in a Division I semifinal at the DODDS-Europe soccer championships at Reichenbach, Germany. Ramstein won 2-0. (Michael Abrams/Stars and Stripes)

Kaiserslautern keeper Ryan Ellegood pulls in the ball infront of International School of Brussels striker Livio de Bok in a Division I semifinal at the DODDS-Europe soccer championships at Reichenbach, Germany. ISB won the game 5-3 to advance to Thursday's final against Ramstein.

Kaiserslautern keeper Ryan Ellegood pulls in the ball infront of International School of Brussels striker Livio de Bok in a Division I semifinal at the DODDS-Europe soccer championships at Reichenbach, Germany. ISB won the game 5-3 to advance to Thursday's final against Ramstein. (Michael Abrams/Stars and Stripes)

Ramstein's Dominic Kubas gets a shot off in front of Wiesbaden's Charles Thomas  in a Division I semifinal at the DODDS-Europe soccer championships at Reichenbach, Germany. Ramstein beat Wiesbaden 2-0 to advance to the finals against ISB.

Ramstein's Dominic Kubas gets a shot off in front of Wiesbaden's Charles Thomas in a Division I semifinal at the DODDS-Europe soccer championships at Reichenbach, Germany. Ramstein beat Wiesbaden 2-0 to advance to the finals against ISB. (Michael Abrams/Stars and Stripes)

REICHENBACH-STEEGEN, Germany – The two most recent DODDS-Europe Division I boys soccer champions will play to decide the next one.

Defending champion Ramstein returned to the title game on Wednesday with a 2-0 defeat of Wiesbaden. In the opposite divisional semifinal, International School of Brussels held off Kaiserslautern 5-3.

The Royals and ISB Raiders will meet Thursday at 6:45 p.m. at Kaiserslautern High School.

The game will be almost two months after Ramstein and ISB played to a scoreless regular season tie.

International School of Brussels 5, Kaiserslautern 3: A resurgent ISB squad played its way back into the title game after a one-year absence. In the process, the 2012 and 2013 Division I champions denied Kaiserslautern the chance to avenge its loss to Ramstein in the 2014 championship match.

The match tilted ISB’s way early as the Belgian squad scored a pair of early goals. But a stunning flurry by Kaiserslautern star Alexander Dexter in the final minutes before halftime forced an unlikely tie at intermission.

First Dexter deposited a penalty kick. Moments later, he took a pass in the penalty box, deftly pivoted and rocketed the equalizer through ISB’s shocked defense, giving the match a fresh start after the break.

“It was a strong hit on our head,” ISB coach Philippe Kaisin said.

ISB recovered in time to strike first in the second half.

A pinpoint cross from Sebastian Ringlstetter found Asgeir Ingunnarson for a header, swinging the lead back to ISB. Kaiserslautern responded soon after on a goal by Thomas Robinson, again squaring the intensifying game.

ISB again had the answer. Ingunnarson maneuvered his imposing frame to the goal line and again placed his head on a ball, outjumping the Kaiserslautern keeper to score the last of his three goals on the game.

Kaiserslautern spent the balance of the game battling the dwindling clock as its shots on goal were rebuffed, first by a carom off the crossbar and then by a sliding ISB save. In a cruel twist, it wasn’t the final whistle that cancelled Kaiserslautern’s efforts; ISB midfielder Henry Brenninkmeijer chipped in a last-minute goal that officially retired any comeback hopes.

Ingunnarson complimented Kaiserslautern’s “powerful attack” and allowed that it took some effort to recover from Dexter’s one-man erasure of ISB’s hard-won first-half lead.

“We just kept calm, kept our head up,” Ingunnarson said. “As a team, we went back to playing our football.”

Third-seeded ISB returns to the title game after a down year in 2014, and Kaisin allowed that his rebuilding project is going better than expected, adding that the team has already exceeded its goal of cracking the top four of the 10-team bracket.

“We definitely are ahead of our schedule,” Kaisin said. “These kids are going to go with no pressure (Thursday) and just enjoy the football.”

Fourth-seeded Kaiserslautern, meanwhile, fell just short of another title match against archrival Ramstein.

“We gave our best today,” Kaiserslautern coach Enrique John said. “The better team won.”

Ramstein 2, Wiesbaden 0: Success hasn’t come easily for the defending champion Royals this spring. That didn’t change in Wednesday’s semifinal.

But the success still came.

A pair of unorthodox goals made the difference in the fifth-seeded Royals’ victory over the sixth-seeded Warriors.

Wiesbaden’s defense mishandled a ball in the box in the first half, and their recovery efforts produced a penalty kick for the Royals. Antonio Oduber calmly consummated the kick, and Ramstein took a 1-0 lead into halftime.

In the second half, a Ramstein corner kick led to another tumultuous ball in front of the Warrior goal; Royal forward Dominic Kubas ricocheted the ball in to end the exchange and give his team a two-goal advantage it would maintain for the duration.


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