Hello! Happy Tuesday to you and welcome to the penultimate roundup of Groups A and B. Both groups still have everything to play for, indeed all ten teams still have a chance of making the last 8.
Here’s a reminder of the groups before we get on to today’s fixtures which should go a long way to giving us a picture of who will qualify.
Let’s start with Group A, where table toppers Plumstead Common Rangers host bottom side FC Garrincha.
Plumstead Common Rangers vs FC Garrincha
Ash finds himself top of Group A but with this his last match, only a win will absolutely secure his place in the last 8. Captain Marc Overmars returns from injury at the expense of Juninho, who has flattered to deceive thus far.
Chris sticks with the same team and shape having lost his opening two games. It’s win or bust now for him but there’s also some goal difference damage to fix if he’s going to advance.
Here we go then, video time. Words below.
Chris started well, thriving in a pressure scenario. The early pressure didn’t bring a goal though and they were made to pay when Roberto Carlos slammed in a trademark free kick to give Ash the lead. The home side came under increasing pressure though and just before half time they buckled. A corner from Laudrup was dangerous and Marc Overmars turned it beyond his own goalkeeper to make it 1-1 at the break.
The second half was an open affair as both sides continued to go for it. Ronald De Boer put FC Garrincha ahead just after half time which was a precursor to the slugfest that would follow. Juninho was thrown on to try and find a way back into the match but seven minutes from time De Boer sealed the match with his second goal to give Chris a much needed lifeline.
Consider the cat among the pigeons.
A win for either team in this next match will make things even tighter.
Rostance Rovers vs Glipton Grasshoppers
Tom’s games have been pretty tight so far, both a win and a loss by a single goal. Rob Lee and David Platt are reunited in the engine room for this vital clash.
Sid is able to name his first choice team, boasting a tremendous front 6 with depth on the bench too.
Here’s the video, words below.
Rostance Rovers did a great job of nullifying The Glipton threat whilst looking to get the vital goal themselves. A half of few chances finished goalless.
The second half was more or less a carbon copy of the first, with Tom pushing for the winner and despite the kitchen sink being thrown at Sid’s men, Landreau was in excellent form and we witnessed a 0-0 draw.
A lack of spark for either team but Landreau was unbeatable.
A point apiece means that all five teams can still qualify. Even the Dragons, who look in great shape, could lose their final game and drop outside of the top two. Chris could come back from the impossible and win his final game next week and sneak through, there really is plenty to play for next week. Ash will have to sit back and watch it all unfold.
Let’s see if Group B is any clearer…
The Rookies vs Patrick Thistle
With The Rookies playing their final group match today, they will be eliminated if they don’t win regardless of what happens elsewhere. The Rookies are unchanged for this one.
Likewise, Paddy needs to win or he will be eliminated. He’s sticking with the same system, he has been quite unlucky so far considering his personnel.
Here’s the video for this titanic struggle. Words below.
The Patrick’s had a goal disallowed very early on and salt was rubbed into the wound when Joao Pinto slotted away a pen after a quarter of an hour. Patrick Berger soon equalised before Kluivert turned the game on its head just four minutes before half time. Lodewijks in the Thistle goal was performing miracles.
The expected onslaught was given no chance to materialise. Patricio Camps scored a quickfire double and Berger wrapped up a truly remarkable day. A sad way for it to end for the Rookies but Patrick Thistle keep themselves alive with a ruthless display.
I could scarcely believe what I was seeing…
Dan can put himself in the last 8 with a win here…
Boca Seniors vs Corinthian Collector
In the build up to this tournament I called Dan the Bielsa of CM. His results so far? 7-4 and 3-3. I stand by my statement. He’s at full strength for the visit of Corinthian Collector, who himself has a 7-2 victory on his records.
Corinthian recalls Henry ahead of Maradona, perhaps unsurprisingly.
Final video of the day, report below.
It was the away side that made the early chances only to be denied time and time again. When Robbie Fowler did score he was denied by an offside flag. Typically, when your luck is out it stays out. N’Doram and Alfonso both scored sucker punches for Boca Seniors to give them a scarcely deserved half time lead.
A quick reply was needed and Corinthian Collector got it from Roberto Baggio. A mistake in the Boca defence resulted in the ball rebounding off the post to Baggio to half the deficit. Those hopes were soon extinguished though when Alfonso took aim from distance, but his shot was spilled to Juan Antonio Pizzi to make it 3-1. A red card for Abelardo shortly after that ended the game as a contest and despite a host of chances, it remained 3-1.
Dan books his place in the last 8 with a game to spare.
The second spot in the group is still up for grabs. Boca host Bayern with Mark needing a point to advance – if Boca win that will open the door for Patrick or Corinthian, where the winner of that match will go through on goal difference.
With many a permutation to be written out, I bid you farewell for another day. We’ll be back on Thursday with the final matches from Groups C and D. See you then.