Galacticos (Por)

2

v

2

RC Lens (Eng)

Saipan FC (Ire)

5

V

0

NVA (Eng)

Trilution (Por)

0

v

3

RC Lens (Eng)

Galacticos (Por)

3

V

0

NVA (Eng)

Saipan FC (Ire)

2

V

0

Trilution (Por)

 
 
 

Galacticos took to the field against RC Lens looking to improve on their second place position but their opponents were the team above them in the table. RC Lens had a superb record in the group phase of the Algarve Open dating back to last year's tournament they came into the game with 7 games played, 7 victories. One more win and they would secure Cup qualification with a game to spare.

This game was to prove a cracker. It was first blood to Galacticos as Ali put the Portuguese side ahead. On a weekend that featured boxing great Muhammad Ali's funeral perhaps it was fitting that Ali would strike the first blow in this game. It was a goal that would give Galacticos the lead going into the interval, 1-0.

In the second half RC Lens hit back with Luke O'Nien's second goal of the tournament but it wasn't long before Galacticos were back in front courtesy of a Telmo strike. RC Lens were not to be beaten though as Josh Hart, making his personal Algarve Open debut scored his second in three games to restore parity at 2-2.

Perhaps it was fitting that after such a great spectacle the points were shared. Only time would tell if this was a point gained or 2 points dropped for either team.

 
 
 

Game 7 of Group B would see Saipan FC entertain NVA. Saipan FC had just tasted their first defeat in 10 games in eurofootballfives.com competition so how would they respond? Their opponents NVA had played well so far but had yet to earn any reward for their performances.

It was first blood to Saipan FC as Nacho Monales fired his team ahead in the first half. Following a captain's assist from Barry Lysaght, Nacho Monales then made it 2-0 to Saipan FC who were in command at the break.

In the second half Nacho Monales completed his hat-trick from a Tom Bird corner. Tom Bird then got in on the scoring act himself as a ball over the top found him sprinting clear, he allowed the ball to bounce before volleying home into the back of the net. Barry Lysaght then added a captain's goal to his captain's assist to complete the scoring at 5-0. It was the biggest win of the day so far and Saipan FC had responded pretty well to defeat in the last game.

For NVA it was tough. After the two close defeats the early goals in this one may have caused heads to drop an easy thing to do when hungover and under the glare of the Algarve sun. We hoped they could regroup for their final group game.

 
 
 

RC Lens would play their final fixture in Group B knowing that a draw would be enough to see them qualify for the Cup and a win would guarantee the Group B title. They would play Trilution who currently had 3 points from 6 so far. A win here would be a massive scalp and give them a chance of going on to make the Cup and even win the Group as they would still have one further game to play.

RC Lens had lost their 100% record in the group phase of the Algarve Open when they drew last time out but they were still unbeaten with 7 wins and 1 draw to their name (including 2015). They were on course to keep this superb form going when Josh Hart scored his third of the morning to give his team the initiative and they lead 1-0 at half-time.

RC Lens had proved extremely effective front-runners today and from the moment Tommy Twelves made it 2-0 the result never seemed in doubt. Tommy Twelves has scored 6 goals in last year's tournament but this was his first today. He would not have to wait too long for his second as his brace helped secure a fine 3-0 win.

RC Lens had qualified for the Cup again and they had added the Group B win in 2016 to the one they won in 2015.

.

 
 

Galacticos and NVA would come head-to-head in Game 9 of Group B. NVA knew they would be playing in the Plate Group later today but a win here would give them good confidence and momentum going into the afternoon's action.

There was more at stake for Galacticos who knew they had to win. A win would give them a minimum of third place and the way Group A was looking this would probably be enough for a place in the Cup. The win could also mean second if Saipan FC lost their final game and guarantee a Cup place. A defeat would certainly mean a place in the Plate whilst a draw would probably have the same result. All Galacticos could do is go for the win and hope that would be enough to see them through.

It went well for the Portuguese as they opened up a 2-0 lead in the first half when Edi Valdo and Ali both found the back of the net. After the break Edi Valdo added another to seal the victory they needed. Galacticos would now have a watching brief and see if other games would help them out.

For NVA, the lunch break would now give them a chance to rest weary legs and give those lungs a breather to come back fresh for the afternoon Plate group.

 
 
 

The climax of Group B would see Saipan FC meet Trilution. Saipan FC needed a win to finish second place in the table and secure a place in the Cup. A draw would also see them in finish in second place above Galacticos courtesy of goal difference. A defeat would see Galacticos finish in second and Saipan FC joint third with their opponents on six points. It would then come down to goal difference. Currently Saipan FC sat on +4 whereas Trilution were on -3 so it would need a 4 goal win for Trilution to finish third.

As we've seen, Trilution needed a big win to finish third and even that might not be enough to see them through. The Avengers had finished in third in Group A on 6 points with a goal difference of +2. So, Trilution would have to win by 5 to go through to the Cup. Anything less and they would be in the Plate.

So, it looked like Saipan FC held all the cards and when the teams reached 0-0 at half-time it suited the Irish team more than the Portuguese.

It would need to be some second half performance from Trilution now but all hopes they had were extinguished for good when Tom Bird cracked home his second of the day for 1-0 Saipan FC. Nacho Monales bagged a second for good measure and Saipan FC were going through to the Cup in second position.

As it turned out, Galacticos would follow them through in third position. NVA and Trilution would compete in the Plate.

 
 
 
 
Team
Pld
Won
Drawn
Lost
For
Agst
Pts

RC Lens (Eng)

4

3

1

0

10

4

10

Saipan FC (Ire)

4

3

0

1

9

3

9

Galacticos (Por)

4

2

1

1

6

3

7

Trilution (Por)

4

1

0

3

1

6

3

NVA (Eng)

4

0

0

4

1

11

0

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 
 
 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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