FC Mahou (Eng)




FC Miracle (Hun)

Mini FC (Por)




Trilution (Por)

* FC Miracle (Hun) won 2-3 on penalties.

** Mini FC (Por) won 2-0 on penalties.

We were at the 2018 Algarve Veterans Tournament Cup Semi-Finals stage and from the 14 teams who signed up we were down to the final 4. There was a strong local presence with 2 Portuguese teams making the cut, they were joined by FC Miracle of Hungary and FC Mahou the defending champions. It was 4 very strong teams.

We began on Pitch C with Mini FC versus Trilution. These two teams actually originated from the same club so it was a little bit of a derby. It is not often teams from the same club meet in eurofootballfives competition but when they do it often has a strange atmosphere sometimes the games can lack a little intensity or sometimes the games can have a bit too much intensity with players determined not to lose to their team-mates.

This one was keenly contested. Mini FC would no doubt be favourites they had a 100% record with 6 wins from 6 and looking to regain the title they won here in 2015. Trilution looked set to win Group B until a last match slip-up versus Dickie Dogs. Would they be able to recover and put that result behind them.

The game was so close that neither team could be separated. The teams were level 0-0 at half-time and 0-0 at full-time. A penalty shoot-out would be required.

It was Mini FC who progressed they scored both of their penalties. Toy in goal saved both the Trilution penalties. Mini FC were through to the Cup Final.


So, who would take their place in the Final from the second Semi-Final? The two teams set to do battle were FC Mahou against FC Miracle.

When we say battle, we probably do mean a battle as this was a fiercely contested game between two teams who knew how to win on our circuit. FC Mahou already possessed the 2011 Prague Masters, 2013 Algarve Open and 2017 Mallorca Veterans Tournament. A fourth title would put them joint top of the all-time winners list (with Olympic Phil Babb and CIS Committee).

FC Miracle had the 2012 Valencia Fives trophy in their possession and were very close to glory at the 2017 Lisbon Veterans Tournament when they were defeated by Talhos Mariete in the Cup Final.

FC Miracle admitted to us at the post-tournament social that they were playing for penalties. The tactic proved successful as held FC Mahou to a 0-0 draw. It meant both Semi-Finals would need penalties to split the teams.

FC Mahou would take the first penalty with 8-goal Mike Brandon stepping up and scoring. Zoltan Toth immediately equalized for FC Miracle. Next up was 4-goal Steve Sachro but he saw his penalty saved and opened the door for FC Miracle. Janos Gal took full advantage to put FC Miracle 2-1 up. Mark Watkins had to score to keep FC Mahou in it he did, 2-2. The pressure was now on Janos Molnar could he score and put the Hungarians in the Cup Final. He could. FC Mahou's dreams of retaining the title were over.

A special mention to Mark Watkins, captain of FC Mahou. He announced his retirement from playing after the tournament and it was fitting his last touch was a successful penalty. We would like to thank Mark for all his efforts over the year's (this was FC Mahou's 10th anniversary) in organizing his team. We hope to see him on tour next year enjoying the freedom of a spectating/coaching role!

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