Water Boy (Por)

0

V

2

The Funky Shepherds (Eng)

Cheesecake FC (Eng)

0

v

0

Mini FC (Por)

The Avengers (Por)

1

V

0

Water Boy (Por)

The Funky Shepherds (Eng)

0

V

0

Cheesecake FC (Eng)

Mini FC (Por)

2

v

0

The Avengers (Por)

 
 
 

The 2016 eurofootballfives.com European tour moved on to Portugal for our 10th tournament in the Algarve's party capital. The 2016 Algarve Open 5-a-side football tournament took place on the 11th June on a stunning day in Portugal.

The format saw us split the field into two morning groups with the top 2 teams in Groups A and B plus the best third placed team qualifying for the Cup Group and the chance to win the 2016 Algarve Open title. The remaining teams would qualify for the Plate Group and still have a chance of taking glory.

Group A would be kicked off by a team on debut in the form of The Funky Shepherds and very experienced team in the form of Portugal's Water Boy who have been ever present at our Algarve Open tournament since 2011. This would be a good yardstick for The Funky Shepherds to test how they would fare today against good quality opposition.

When the game got underway the English team found they were more than a match for their opponents. The game was evenly contested and we were level 0-0 at half-time. In the second half the deadlock was broken as The Funky Shepherd's Aidan O'Reilly pounced not once but twice including a fine header to secure victory for his team. It was a perfect start for the English team.

 
 
 

Next up was Cheesecake FC versus Mini FC. Cheesecake FC need little introduction to regular followers of the eurofootballfives.com tournaments but we will introduce them nevertheless.

Cheesecake FC were making their 8th eurofootballfives.com appearance in Portugal with the zenith of their achievements being crowned champions at the 2014 Mallorca Tournament when they swept all challengers aside with 7 wins out of 7 en route to ultimate glory.

The fact they had not won up until that point is down to the strength of their opposition. They made their debut in the 2010 Prague Masters in a field which also featured 3 past winners Lozenetz City (Bul), Kehar Club (Cze) and Olympic Phil Babb (Eng). They met the latter in the Cup Semi-Finals and after a fine 3-3 draw went out on penalties. They then played in the 2011 Algarve Open which also featured 3 past winners Goldsmith Williams and 9 Nana Budds (both UK) and Dutch side and defending champions Athletico Do Hollande. They met the latter in an epic final in front of a great crowd and put in a sensational effort unfortunately for them they were on the wrong end of a 3-2 scoreline.

In 2012 they played in the Mallorca Tournament which had 5 previous winners and they went out to the winners again with a Cup Semi-Final defeat to Cosegur Balear. In the 2013 Berlin Fives this phenomenon continued with a Cup Semi-Final defeat to Romania's ABC United. They did also play in the 2013 Mallorca Tournament with an injury ravaged team following their Berlin exploits as a result they had their weakest campaign to date missing out on Cup qualification for the first time but picked up Plate Runners-Up medals. Following the 2014 Mallorca Tournament success they competed at the 2015 Lisbon Tournament. A good Group D campaign saw them qualify for the Cup with 4 wins out of 5 before they met Melee FC in the Quarter-Finals. A hard fought 2-2 draw then saw them exit on penalties.

Can they return to winning ways in the Algarve and complete some unfinished business from 2011?

In a strong line-up today they met Mini FC and we witnessed a second close contest in succession this morning. The half-time whistle came and went with the teams locked together at 0-0. There was to be no change at full-time with honours even as the referee blew for time on proceedings. It was a solid start for both teams.

 
 
 

The last team to get underway in Group A was The Avengers. The Avengers (Por) were the current holders playing under a new name. They made their debut at the 2015 Algarve Open as Futeboladas and surged to victory. They finished 2 nd in their group to RC Lens who they then met again in the Cup Final. RC Lens won the group game (2-0) but Futeboladas won the game that really mattered (3-0) to collect the title. Only once has a team successfully defended a eurofootballfives.com title and that was also here in the Algarve when Dutch team Athletico Do Hollande won the 2010 & 2011 Algarve Opens.

They would kick-off against a Water Boy team who already had a game under their belts. They lost their opening fixture, 2-0, so would look to bounce back quickly here but it would be a tough task against the defending champions.

Joao Fernandes put The Avengers 1-0 up in the first half the first time a goal had been scored in the opening period in Group A. From there on a solid defensive display ensured that the goal would earn all 3 points. Their title defence had got off to the perfect start! Final score, 1-0.

.

 
 

It was England versus England as The Funky Shepherds would meet Cheesecake FC in Game #4 of Group A. Both teams had started well with the former taking victory in their debut eurofootballfives.com fixture whilst Cheesecake FC had taken a decent point.

It was a tight first half with perhaps Cheesecake FC holding the edge. There were no goals to celebrate in the opening period but the men in red came closest to breaking the deadlock as they twice worked Phil Shaw into good shooting positions. The first chance went narrowly wide and the second hit the post. Both teams were showing attacking intent despite the lack of goals.

It was much the same after the break but towards the end Cheesecake FC thought they had claimed a winner. A Justin Rees run down the right wing saw him fouled in the corner. He took a quick free-kick to lay it off to Kevin Raphael but the whistle went moments before Raphael swept the ball into the bottom corner. It was a controversial moment as the referee wanted Cheesecake FC to wait for his whistle to re-start. The game finished 0-0 but could that be a costly moment for Cheesecake FC in their quest for Cup qualification.

The Funky Shepherds probably didn't care at all as they currently lead the way in Group A a great start for them in the tournament.

 
 
 

The game that would take us to the half-way stage of Group A was Mini FC against The Avengers. Mini FC were making their second eurofootballfives.com appearance. The debuted at the 2014 Algarve Open when they won 4 games and drew 1 game to finish top of Group B. They were then defeated 2-1 in the Cup Semi-Finals by the eventual winners Stand Cristina. Could they go all the way in 2016?

Mini FC had started well with a draw from their opening game but this promised to be a tough encounter as they took on last year's winners. The Avengers had started their defence well with an opening game win but were unable to break through the Mini FC defence in this game as we reached half-time level at 0-0.

When we kicked off for the second half both teams still boasted a tournament clean sheet with neither goalkeeper yet to concede. That was to change for The Avengers goalkeeper who had to pick the ball out of the back of the net when Domingos Arsenio scored Mini FC's first goal of the day. 1-0 became 2-0 when Paulo Aquino added his name to the score-sheet and Mini FC had pulled off a stunning victory. They joined The Funky Shepherds at the summit of Group A.

 
 
 
 
Team
Pld
Won
Drawn
Lost
For
Agst
Pts

Mini FC (Por)

2

1

1

0

2

0

4

The Funky Shepherds (Eng)

2

1

1

0

2

0

4

The Avengers (Por)

2

1

0

1

1

2

3

Cheesecake FC (Eng)

2

0

2

0

0

0

2

Water Boy (Por)

2

0

0

2

0

3

0

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 
 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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