CFC (Fra)




FC Radbroke (Eng)


With 56 games gone before, there was just one more game left to decide the winners of the tournament the 2013 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 CFC and FC Radbroke.


CFC of Paris were in the Cup Final for the second year running and they had yet to concede in the tournament. Clement Benard could be the first man to keep 8 clean sheets in a tournament if he could prevent an FC Radbroke goal.


FC Radbroke were in their second Cup Final. They had happy memories from their first one when they defeated Deportivo 1-0 in the 2011 Prague Masters Final. FC Radbroke, like their opponents, were unbeaten coming into the Final and had gone 3 games without conceding themselves.


The two teams had met before in the final round of Group A and had drawn 0-0 so we knew this game would be close. The early stages saw the two teams probing each other out and it was indeed looking to be another close game. The first big chance of the game fell to FC Radbroke but a good save low down by his left post from Clement Benard kept it at 0-0.


Then midway through the first half, a throw in from Pete Cox to Mike Brandon on left wing produced a quality finish into the far corner when there didn't look like too much danger for the French. It was 1-0 and advantage FC Radbroke. Guilhem Aulotte then had the next chance for CFC with a shot from right touchline which looked like it was going in until Marc Lawrie in the FC Radbroke goal got down low to push it wide. Just before half-time, Brandon on the left again shot to the near post but Benard was equal to it on this occasion and pushed it round the post for a corner. The half-time whistle went before the corner could even be taken.


FC Radbroke had shown in the 2011 Prague Masters Final they were the pass masters and superb at protecting a lead by keeping possession, playing it around casually, and hitting teams on the break to kill the game. The French had it all to do in the second half.


The second half began with lots of FC Radbroke possession until they drew the French out and a quick exchange of passes from Gurney and Brandon put Brandon through one on one with the keeper and the French guardian de but made a fine save.


CFC was struggling to create chances as the FC Radbroke defence looked solid. Brandon was the thorn in the French side on the break and it seemed to be the Brandon v Benard show in many respects. He had another chance on the break and once again Benard saved from the top goalscorer elect.


The French then did create a chance with Nicolas Granier striking it low but Marc Lawrie saved it, pushing it on to the post and the ball ran across the face of goal but there was no-one following up to put it in. That could well have been the opportunity CFC were looking for. FC Radbroke went straight down the other end and forced yet another good stop from the French goalkeeper.


Towards end of game, the French were running out of time and didn't really look like scoring. The game was getting more and more stretched as the French were getting more and more anxious and, if you were a betting man, you would probably put money on FC Radbroke grabbing a second on the counter attack.


They didn't, the full time whistle went and it was all over. They had bagged their second title in what looked a fairly comfortable Cup Final for them once they took the lead. If the first goal had gone to CFC who knows how this game may have developed. It was maybe one game too far for the French team who had played well throughout and just lacked that extra bit of creativity in the Final to break down a well organised FC Radbroke.


Ladies and gentlemen, we present you the 2013 Algarve Open winners FC Radbroke. Many congratulations to them and to Mike Brandon for his top goalscorer prize. We also send our commiserations to CFC Paris who came so close but it was now Runners-Up in 2012 and in 2013. Could it be third time lucky in 2014?


We send our congratulations to all the teams who participated in what was a great day's competition. Thank you to everyone for helping us reach our half-century of tournaments the first 50 have been great fun and here's to the next 50!


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