were reaching the climax of Group B and with (on
average) 5 games each already under their belts,
most teams now had just 2 games left to stake
their claim for the knock-out phase of the tournament.
It was Holland versus Spain to kick us off next.
came into the game on the back of their first
three points having just beaten (the previously
unbeaten) Wealdstone Raiders. AC Motxo's results
had been up and down so far – it read Loss, Win,
Draw, Draw, Loss. The Spanish were currently 1
point ahead of their Dutch opponents. If either
of these teams could finish Win, Win then they
would have a good chance of qualifying for the
took the lead for the third game in a row and
for the third game in a row it was the mythical
Pieter Elbers who got his name on the scoresheet.
CEO of an international airline and score of goals
in an international football tournament – was
there anything this man could not do?
myth became legend moments later when Elbers was
credited with a second goal in the game. At 2-0
the game was up for AC Motxo International who
slipped to their second defeat in a row. Elbersiktas
were up to fifth.
a game we had in store next – Cruz Del Sur versus
FC Gymnasium. It was the teams in first and third
place. FC Gymnasium were current leaders of the
group on 10 points. Cruz Del Sur were only 2 points
behind but crucially had a game in hand. Although
Lacey Green FC had a stake in the Group title,
this was effectively a top of the table clash.
teams had a +3 goal difference and Cruz Del Sur
were currently unbeaten. The English team were
enjoying their second best start to a eurofootballfives.com
tournament (they won Group C with a 100% record
at the 2016 Riga Tournament). As good as their
start was, there were 3 teams below them within
3 points so Cruz Del Sur could not relax for a
moment as far as Cup qualification was concerned.
was often the case with top of the table clashes,
this was a close and evenly contested game and
it was low-scoring. Defences remained on top and
it was arguably more important not to lose than
go full out for the win. This was especially true
for Cruz Del Sur who had a game in hand. With
the top 4 qualifying for the Cup it was important
not to do anything silly at this stage.
match finished 0-0. We often wonder if a draw
is a point gained or 2 points dropped. Given the
context of the group, this was arguably a well-earned
battle at the top of Group B was hotting up. One
team who would have been pleased to see Cruz Del
Sur 0-0 FC Gymnasium would have been Lacey Green
FC. It meant they had a chance to go 2 points
clear at the top with 1 game to go. The team trying
to prevent them getting a win was Wealdstone Raiders.
Raiders had started well with 4 games unbeaten
but had just tasted defeat for the first time
today. It meant they dropped out of the top four
just as were getting to the business end of the
group. Lacey Green promised to be a tough game
to try and regain that top four position.
Group A, L'Albiceleste seemed to be racking up
the 1-0 wins (or wins by a 1 goal margin) and
making steady progress up the group. In Group
B, Lacey Green FC were doing the same. Keeping
it tight at the back, grabbing a goal and seeing
the game out. With potentially 10 games required
to win the tournament this tournament would be
a marathon not a sprint and so stamina under the
Portuguese sun was an important factor.
Green continued this form. It was a fifth clean
sheet for Ryan Maguire and a fourth tournament
goal for Mark Johnson. Job done for Lacey Green
FC who were top. Worryingly for Wealdstone Raiders
it was a second defeat in a row.
last game before the final round of fixtures was
to be Men Behaving Chadli versus AFC Chorltonians.
At kick-off Men Behaving Chadli sat in eighth
position but with an outside chance of making
the Cup. They needed two wins to take them to
9 points and hope other results would go their
AFC Chorltonians had a better chance of Cup qualification.
They were currently in fourth place with 7 points.
This was their last chance to put points on the
board. If they could grab a win and move on to
10 points they would be unlucky not to reach the
Cup with such a haul. They had to win this game
started off well for the team from Manchester
as AFC Chorltonians forged ahead with Lee Bagshaw
scoring for the second game in a row. With 4 draws
already and a goal up they would desperately want
to avoid a fifth draw. Right on cue, Shaun Cravagan
kept his second clean sheet of the group phase
to help his team to their second victory of the
group phase. Final score, 1-0.
Chorltonians had done all they could. They would
now have to watch the last four games in Group
B to see if they had done enough. Men Behaving
Chadli's Cup hopes were extinguished but they
had 1 game to come to see how high up they could
finish in the Group B table.