35 games of football in the Veterans competition
we only had one more to play - The 2015 Algarve
Veterans Tournament Cup Final.
a Cup Final we had in prospect! We had two teams
who had both excelled throughout the day and I
don't think anyone could argue that they didn't
deserve to be in the Final. We had four exceptional
teams reach the Semi-Finals but now just two remained
to fight it out. We also had the exciting back
story of The Blackouts who narrowly missed out
on glory last year trying to avenge that defeat
and go all the way here in Portugal.
6, won 6. They had scored 11 goals along the way
and conceded just two. In fact, take this record
back to their debut in Mallorca and it reads Played
12, won 10, drawn 1, lost 1 with 26 goals scored
and just 4 conceded – formidable.
FC: Played 6, won 5, lost 1 today.
They had scored 13 goals and conceded three.
you can see there was really not much in it –
these were the top two scoring attacks on the
day and, after Belfast Space Monkeys, had the
best two defences in the tournament.
game was underway and the two teams looked as
evenly matched on the pitch as they did on paper.
The first goal of the game was preceded with a
little controversy to it as The Blackouts were
attacking with a ball over the top. Mini FC's
goalkeeper came rushing out and as The Blackouts
forward looked to finish the ball was saved by
the goalkeeper but outside the area. We were dead
in front of the incidence and it was hard to say
if it hit the goalkeeper in the mid-rift or it
was handball. The referee was a little bit blindsided.
There was no question the goalkeeper was out of
the area but did it hit his hands? If so, The
Blackouts could have been a man up. Shortly after
Mini FC went up the other end and scored through
Binlo's fourth goal of the day. Half-time, 1-0
to Mini FC.
was the first time The Blackouts had fallen behind
today so how would they react? Pretty well is
the answer. They had a lot of the play and the
pressure but Mini FC defended well. Then, the
big moment. Shane Cox was found out on the right
wing and with Mini FC set-up for a cross he scored
from a tight angle in at the far post to make
it 1-1. It was his sixth goal of the day and surely
none more valuable than this one.
was the odd half-chance at either end afterwards
but nothing to trouble the scorers and it was
1-1 at full-time. A penalty shoot-out would decide
the eurofootballfives.com Veterans tournament
for the first time.
Blackouts would strike first and up stepped Shane
Cox. Hero with the equalizer and was so unlucky
to see his well struck penalty rebound back off
the post. Binlo, also a scorer in the game, was
up first for Mini FC and he coolly slotted home.
The pressure was on Darragh Cox as he stepped
up – simply had to score. He did, putting it in
the same spot as Binlo had done before. Pedro
Santos, 2 goals in the Semi-Final, stepped up
for Mini FC and swept the ball home into the bottom
corner to maintain the home team's advantage.
the final round of penalties and it was Ronan
Gilligan who had the honours. He struck the ball
home but in his eagerness had not waited for the
referee's whistle. As calls from the watching
galleries called for him to put it in the same
spot – he duly obliged 2-2. If Paulo Aquino could
find the net, as he had done 4 times already today,
then the title would be Mini FC's. Noelly Holland
in The Blackouts goal pulled a rabbit out the
hat and saved the penalty that kept The Blackouts
were now into sudden death. Andy Gilligan was
up first – missed. But….more drama…he'd not waited
for the referee's whistle so had another chance.
This time he banged it home but had not waited
for the whistle again. So, third time lucky –
the penalty was a legal one but it struck the
keeper on the shoulder and bounced clear. Mini
FC had a second chance to win the title. Viton
Silva stepped forward, went for power and made
Blackouts can feel very unfortunate that they
came away with Runners-Up medals instead of Winners
medals for a second season in a row – and so close
on both occasions. There was some consolation
for Shane Cox as he picked up the tournament top
goalscorer award with his 6 goals in the campaign.
The Blackouts have now provided the top goalscorer
in each of the last two years.
FC became the third team to claim glory at a eurofootballfives.com
Veterans Tournament following the success of Sao
Marcos in Lisbon 2013 and Palmesanos in Mallorca
2014. The Veterans Tournament will soon be scheduled
for 2016 and we hope you can all join us next