Hello! We’ve reached the business end of the group stage. The final games of Groups C and D are about to take place and so far only one of the four spots has been filled for sure.
The equation in Group C is simple. Wins for Real Mathdrid and Sporting Po-Taitos will see them advance at the expense of Exeter Gently. Quickly Kevin United need a handsome win over Real Mathdrid and a slip up from Sporting to advance, whilst Exeter Gently can only sit and watch and hope for dropped points.
In Group D, Bells United are already through but they can open the door for Rewind Rovers if they can defeat Criterion Club.
So with it all teed up, let’s get to it.
Real Mathdrid vs Quickly Kevin
The equation for Dave is simple – win and you’re through. A score draw will also be enough. He’s sticking with 4-4-2 but with Hubner out injured again, Luis Enrique is deployed as a striker.
Michael Marden and Quickly Kevin need a big win. They’ll also need a favour later on. It’s time for the 2-3-1-2-2 to be deployed. Desperate times call for desperate measures.
First video of the day.
Diego Simeone has been quite useful breaking forward from midfield and he gave his side the lead after 16 minutes. Chamot departed injured but it did little to disrupt Real Mathrdid’s play. For Quickly Kevin, Matt Le Tissier spurned a good opportunity and was amde to pay when Djorkaeff made it 2-0.
It’s very rare you see an outfielder with a 4 rating but Lars Bohinen was having a stinker. He was replaced at half time by Kirovski as Michael went all out for a miracle. A route back into the match looked less likely as time ticked down but some pride was salvaged when Paulo Sousa tapped home in the final minute. Too little, too late.
A deserved win for Dave and he takes his place in the last 8.
So then, Exeter Gently need a favour from PSG Mashup. A point for Rob Tait will be enough.
Sporting Po-Taitos vs PSG Mashup
It’s been a fearsome team throughout. Sporting Po-Taitos will be heavy favourites here.
Tom Reed is playing for pride and to try and avoid last place. Jerome Leroy is finally fit again to take his place on the right wing, though Gary Pallister has to come in for the injured Alain Goma.
Leandro’s early goal has threatened to make this a quick finish but Marcus Purk equalised just three minutes later. Once Chiesa gave the home side the lead though it seemed to break PSG’s spirit. Del Piero made it 3-1 a few minutes later and Leandro added his second on the stroke of half time. Brutal.
The second half was largely irrelevant at this point and it looked like petering out. However with the final kick of the game, Leandro secured his hat-trick and put the icing on a potatoey cake.
Confirmation of the result:
And the final table. Commiserations to Ross, Michael and Tom who we say goodbye to at this point. Thanks for playing.
Winning the group guarantees Rob a home game in the last 8 whilst Dave will be happy to secure a spot in the last 8 – but who will they face?
Ross Bell looks odds on to finish in the top spot in Group D. He faces second place Criterion Club who need to win by four goals. A tough task in normal circumstances but Bells United have won all three of their games so far and will be hoping to make it four. Bakayoko is out injured again so Larsson partners Hasselbaink.
Criterion’s success will largely come down to the exploits of Jean-Pierre Papin. He has five goals so far this tournament. A defeat here though would open the door for Rewind Rovers.
Here’s a video. Words below.
Despite the best efforts of both sides it was the goalkeepers who were on top in the first half. Barthez did particularly well to make a series of saves and keep it 0-0. However, the game turned on 41 minutes when Laurent Blanc was dismissed for a last man handball.
Ross threw Edmundo on for Hasselbaink but it was Matt who started the second half on the front foot. Papin did get his goal and gave Matt something to hold on to, racing through to finish a one on one. Edmundo though ultimately changed the game. He set Rui Costa up for the equaliser and then, once Popescu was sent off to reduce his side to 9 men, the Brazilian took the game away from Matt. He scored twice, with an Ortega goal in between, which ended Matt’s brave challenge here.
Confirmation of the score.
Matt is down but not out. He needs a favour from S4ooters. Rewind Rovers have to win to qualify!
S4ooters Outlaws vs Rewind Rovers
So, can Rewind sneak in the back door with a final victory? It’s another outing for the 2-3-1-2-2.
Rewind Rovers are at full strength. Their direct style has proven a handful so far.
Last video of the day.
S4ooters were at it from the off, much to the relief of Matt. Oliver Bierhoff opened the scoring but this was a battering for the most part. A second goal didn’t follow but it felt like only a matter of time.
Billy MacDonald was sent off but if that was meant to give Rewind a lift, it didn’t transpire. A Tony Adams own goal settled it before Bierhoff added late gloss. This was a disaster for Dan and Rewind Rovers, an opportunity lost.
Final confirmation then:
And the final table. Bells United will host Real Mathdrid whilst Criterion Club will make the trip to Sporting Po-Taitos.
We’ll be back on Sunday to round off groups A and B and also reveal the full quarter final draw. Don’t tell me you’re not excited? See you then.