Results
 

ACD.Sta.C.a.Nova (Por)

0

V

1

Red Star (Por)

Water Boy (Por)

1*

v

1

The Funky Shepherds (Eng)

Hellgarve Kraken's (Por)

0

v

3

Mini FC (Por)

Parkwood B (Eng)

4

V

1

Panic At The Isco (Eng)

* Water Boy won 3-1 on penalties.
 

As the 2019 Algarve Open Cup Quarter-Finals were about to get underway we were down to the elite 8 teams in the tournament. There was a strong local challenge with 5 teams represented and we had two of them in the first Quarter-Final.

We started on Pitch A with two teams on debut. It was ACD.Sta.C.a.Nova versus Red Star. In our 13 previous tournaments we had 7 wins from Portugal (6 different teams). Could either of these teams go on and add themselves to that list of winners?

ACD.Sta.C.a.Nova had enjoyed a superb group phase going through Group A unbeaten. They had 3 wins and 2 draws as they topped the table with 11 points. Red Star also had 3 wins but also 2 defeats which partly explains why there were second in Group B and not at the top of the table.

Having won Group A, ACD.Sta.C.a.Nova would have been confident but they fell behind. It was only the second time they had gone behind today. On that occasion they recovered to beat Tysers 2-1. Here against Red Star they were unable to breach their opponents defence. They drew 0-0 with ZVC in the group and had now drawn a blank against Red Star. These tournaments can be cruel, 1 defeat and ACD.Sta.C.a.Nova were out!

 
 
 

Up next on Pitch B was Water Boy versus The Funky Shepherds. This was the 5th time Water Boy had qualified for our Cup competition in 9 attempts and the first since 2015. They were up against The Funky Shepherds who had qualified for the Cup competition for the first time in their third appearance.

These two teams in the very first game of the 2016 Algarve Open this was a game that The Funky Shepherds won 2-0. They then met again later in the day in the Plate Group and Water Boy got their revenge with a 4-0 win on the way to picking up Plate runners-up medals. It was great to see these teams now competing in the Cup.

The two teams were well matched today and played out a 0-0 first half. There was controversy as Water Boy were awarded a penalty for what the referee deemed an off the ball foul in the box. Bernardo duly despatched the penalty to make it 1-0 to Water Boy. The Funky Shepherds opened up with two 1-1 draws today and they were to get another as they claimed a deserved draw in the latter stages of the game thanks to Joe Beglarian's strike. We would go to penalties.

In the shoot-out, Bernardo scored again to kick us off as Water Boy went 1-0 up. Daniel Squires then had the opportunity to level it up. There was a stutter in the run up and he put the ball over the bar. It was advantage Water Boy which they extended as Mario made it 2-0. James Ward reduced the lead to 2-1 to keep his team in it. It came down to Rafa for Water Boy versus Luke Pearson in goal for The Funky Shepherds. Rafa held his nerve and sent Water Boy into the next round.

It was a great effort from The Funky Shepherds and a great tournament performance overall their best yet.

 
 
 

Quarter-Final three saw Hellgarve Kraken's take on Mini FC.

What an epic game this was worthy of a Cup Final! At the 2015 Algarve Open both of these teams were victorious. Hellgarve Kraken's (playing as Futeboladas) won the Open Age section, Mini FC won the Veterans section. Since then Mini FC had won the 2018 Algarve Veterans. Hellgarve Kraken's had yet to win a second title but had come close with a 3rd place finish, Cup QF (x2), a Plate win and a Cup SF.

Could that second Cup win come today? They were certainly in fine form with 5 wins out of 5 in the group phase and only the one goal conceded. Despite Mini FC having two titles under their belts we made them underdogs for this due to this being in the Open Age category, the fact Mini FC were second in their group and primarily because Hellgarve Kraken's were playing superb football they had two top goalscorers, a solid back line and a goalkeeper in awesome form.

Mini FC turned the tables though and established a 2-0 first half lead. Joao Simoes opened the scoring and Pioes made it 2-0 at half-time. It would be a tough ask for Hellgarve Kraken's to come back from this as Mini FC had an equally mean defence with just one goal conceded in the group phase.

As Hellgarve Kraken's chased the game they conceded another (to Joao Simoes again) and their challenge was over. We genuinely thought it was Hellgarve's tournament to win but it was not to be.
 
 
 

The final Quarter-Final was Parkwood B versus Panic At The Isco. It was the Group D winners versus the runners-up finishers in Group C.

Both teams were on debut so we have no history to draw upon but suffice it to say, both teams impressed on their first eurofootballfives appearance. Parkwood B were obviously great in winning Group D with 10 points from a possible 12. Panic At The Isco negotiated their group with an unbeaten record intact. They secured 3 wins and 2 draws notably just the one goal conceded.

Parkwood B wrecked those defensive statistics in this match though. The team sporting yellow jerseys raced into a 3-0 lead by the break. Louis Payne scored the opening two goals of the game before Kieran Humphreys maintained his record of scoring in every game (5 games and counting).

Recovering from 3-0 down would take a monumental effort for Panic At The Isco but when Keiran Humphreys made it 4-0 there was no doubt which team would be progressing. There was still time for Parkwood B to score a fifth but it was at the wrong end although I am sure by that stage they didn't really care. Final score, 4-1.

It was a shame for Panic At The Isco to go out in such a away after performing so well in the games up to that point. The knock-out phase is extremely unforgiving though.

 
 
 
 
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