Results

Dream Team (Spa)

4

V

0

Mavericks (Eng)

Esparta (Spa)

3

v

1

FC Mahou (Eng)

 
 

We were at the 2019 Alicante Veterans Tournament Cup Semi-Finals stage and from the 12 teams who signed up for the tournament we were down to the final 4.

 

The first Cup Semi-Final would be contested by Dream Team and Mavericks. It was a great achievement for Mavericks to qualify for the Cup for the first time in our Veterans tournament. They had reached the Cup before at our Open Age 2013 Barcelona Fives which was their best performance at one of our tournaments until today perhaps.

 

They were arguably the underdogs of the four semi-finalists if you look at the statistics. The other 3 teams were unbeaten and had all scored 14-15 goals. Mavericks had just the one defeat (a narrow 2-1 loss to Esparta) but hadn't been amongst the goals in the same numbers as their rivals. Defensively, they were there or thereabouts the Cup Semi-Final teams had conceded between 1-4 goals. Could Mavericks score the goals they needed in these last two (potential games) to fire them to glory?

 

The first half here was close and the teams entered half-time level at 0-0. As this game progressed the first goal was becoming more important. When the first goal arrived it went to Dream Team. Jose Martinez Martinez then scored a quick double to put Dream Team in control. Miguel Angel Martinez Gutierrez claimed a fourth to ensure they would be going through to the Cup Final.

 

The final score was harsh on Mavericks but when you are chasing a game in the knock-out phase it is easy to leak a couple at the back whilst you chase an equalizer. They were one half of football away from a debut European 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 Esparta.

 

This was FC Mahou's third appearance in our Veterans tournament and their third Cup Semi-Final. So far, they had a 6-0 win en route to the 2017 Mallorca Veterans title and a 0-0 draw before losing on penalties to Hungary's FC Miracle in the Algarve last year. They also reached 3x Cup Semi-Finals in three of our Open Age tournaments. They won two on the way to the 2011 Prague Masters and 2013 Algarve Open titles. There was defeat at the same stage at the 2010 Valencia Fives. Their record read 3 wins, 1 draw and just 1 defeat at this stage. Not a bad record at all.

 

Esparta looked like they could provide stiff opposition for FC Mahou here. Their group records were very similar both were unbeaten. Esparta had a 100% record with 4 wins and a goal difference of 14-1. FC Mahou had 4 wins and a draw with a goal difference of 15-3.

 

The big talking point of this game just before half-time. We missed the incident as we were covering another pitch at the time but it was reported that one of the Esparta defenders had conceded a foul for a high boot that did not make contact. The offence occurred took place in the penalty area (that is not disputed) and an indirect free-kick was awarded instead of a penalty. We may not have the full picture as it turns out there may have been contact from the high boot. The referee's decision stood and the indirect free-kick came to nothing. We entered half-time level at 0-0 with FC Mahou aggrieved at not getting a penalty. Esparta had their own grievances with the referee although we are not quite sure what this was about. Half-time came at the right moment to take a little bit of the heat out of the tie.

 

In the second half FC Mahou struck first as Mike Brandon moved into double figures for the day. We felt at that stage that may be the winner and if FC Mahou had retained the lead for a while it could well have been. However, Esparta equalized relatively quickly through Manolo Teban. Esparta then went 2-1 up and in all the excitement the referee failed to note down the scorer. The killer blow was dealt by Aitor Esteban who ensured there would be no comeback for FC Mahou.

 

We had to say farewell to FC Mahou for today.

 
 
Open Age
 
Plate Knock-out
 
Cup Knock-out
 
 
Veterans
 
 
Plate Knock-out
 
Cup Knock-out
 

 
 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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