56 games gone before, there was just one more
game left to decide the winners of the tournament
– the 2011 Algarve Open Cup Final. We had a great
final in store and a fantastic crowd assembled
by Pitch A and in the beer garden overlooking
the pitch. It was a fantastic atmosphere for the
two finalists to play in. Those two teams would
be Athletico Do Hollande and Cheesecake FC.
Do Hollande were bidding to become the first team
to retain a title in eurofootballfives.com history.
Teams had come close before when England's Goldsmith
Williams won the 2008 Prague Masters only to lose
the 2009 final to Lozenetz City of Bulgaria. The
Bulgarians then lost the 2010 final to Olympic
Phil Babb. Spanish team Anglo Knights won the
2009 Barcelona Fives and reached the 2010 final
where they lost to Magic Monkeys. The Dutch team
would hope that this fate would not befit them.
FC were hoping to inflict such a defeat in their
first eurofootballfives.com history. They would
provide tough opposition as they had yet to lose
a game in our tournaments having gone 12 games
unbeaten. The only reason they had failed to win
a tournament was due to a penalty shoot-out loss.
was Cheesecake FC who drew first blood in the
final when Chris McDaid's 4th goal of the day
gave them a vital lead. The goal met with the
approval of a partisan crowd who were all cheering
on the English team. Whilst Cheesecake FC had
played superbly and put together a great run of
results you sensed from the crowd that Athletico
Do Hollande were the favourites and they wanted
the underdogs to prevail.
Do Hollande had fallen behind before in this tournament,
most notably to RS Ocean Village FC in the Quarter-Finals.
On that occasion they came back with a vengeance
to win 5-1. They were able to comeback again in
this game when they equalized through Giorgio
Fraenk. That's how the game stood when the teams
turned round at the interval, 1-1.
the second period the crowd went wild as Mark
Hignett strolled up from the back and thumped
a shot past Redouan El Hamidi in the Dutch goal
and it was 2-1 to Cheesecake FC. With time running
out it looked as if there was no way back from
Athletico Do Hollande – the game looked like it
was going against them as they hit the bar and
saw a great bicycle kick go narrowly wide. The
game was ebb and flow though and Cheesecake FC
had a chance to make it 3-1. They were made to
pay for this miss though when Toufik Haddouchi
equalized for 2-2. It was his 9th goal of the
tournament and a goal that won him the top goalscorer's
prize although that was of secondary importance
at this stage.
2-2 there were chances for both teams but both
went begging and then with only a minute or two
to go Giorgio Fraenk scored the games 5th goal
and the most crucial goal as it put Athletico
Do Hollande 3-2 up. The Dutch went crackers and
there was barely any time for Cheesecake FC to
turn it around. The referee (who had produced
a fine display in such a hot atmosphere) blew
for full time and sparked emotional celebrations
from the Dutch team.
was pretty tough on Cheesecake FC who could not
have come closer to winning and could not have
pushed their opponents any further. For Athletico
Do Hollande it was a great result and a hard fought
result that saw them enter the eurofootballfives
history books as the first team to retain a title.
They also joined a select group of teams to have
won two eurofootballfives tournaments - Olympic
Phil Babb (4), Goldsmith Williams (2), Lozenetz
City (2) and now Athletico Do Hollande (2).
send our congratulations to all the teams who
participated in what was a great day's competition.
The tournament had everything and we look forward
to seeing you all again very soon.