Hello! Welcome back to the 2021 CM Cup. With two groups playing to a finish yesterday the last 16 draw is starting to take shape. With Groups C and D ending today we’ll know 8 of the knockout contestants and most likely a few more thanks to the third place criteria. Here’s how the groups stand as of kick off:
TomReedWriting vs Verbist_Philip
Tom is hanging on by his finger ends. He needs to win by 5 goals to guarantee his place in the last 16 provided Dan and Zak don’t draw in the final game. A narrow win will likely not be enough, the current “worst” 3rd place team has 3 points and a -3 goal difference but it is likely other groups will surpass that anyway. Anyway, Tom sticks with 4-4-2.
Philip is already through but like Ash yesterday, he’s playing his best team to preserve the integrity of the competition. We all like that.
It’s not the best game ever played and although Tom needs a win, he can’t break down Philip’s stubborn side. There is late hope when Onopko is dimissed – again – very late on but it makes little difference and it finishes 0-0.
5 shots on target in the whole game isn’t a great return. Philip won’t care but it’s all over for Tom.
Kahn takes man of the match and Philip’s lads seemed to just go through the motions.
Confirmation of top and bottom then but who will advance between Dan and Zak? A draw would send both through…are we about to see Austria vs Germany? (look it up, kids)
Winkveron vs CornishZak
Dan sticks with the tried and trusted. Will it pull through? Veron is in for the injured Boban.
Zak is sticking with this lopsided thing that didn’t manage to beat Philip as it was designed.
Ally McCoist picks his times to turn up! He opens the scoring before De La Pena doubles the lead and things look great for Zak. Signori pulls one back to keep it interesting but after half time McCoist doubles down and it’s 3-1. Signori does strike back to set up a grandstand finish but it’s Zak who holds on to take 2nd spot and leave Dan sweating on other 3rd placed teams.
You can’t really say it was deserved but Zak was very clinical – or maybe Toldo was poor. Who knows?
Klos and Torres obviously didn’t do enough to impress the man of the match judges, that award goes to Signori.
Will we see him again? Dan is left wondering but he might find out after Group D.
That means Nick Rowe qualifies from Group B as there are already two third place teams with a worse record than him – a huge relief I’m sure.
Let’s see what Group D has to offer
Charlemaagne vs KingOfTheRooks
With just a point needed, there are no histrionics from Charlemaagne. I say that considering he has been playing rush keeper throughout, he isn’t changing now.
Speaking of rush keeper, Andrew continues with this, where Phil Neville as the left back will help out in goal.
That’s all well and good but what happens when he gets injured? Andrew goes ahead through Ziege only for Zamorano to equalise. Not very often the Z’s take over (unless you’re reading, am I right guys?) but Zamorano doubles his tally straight after half time. Neville is injured though and with Conceicao thrust into action, the world waits to see what the damage is. Okocha equalises but substitute Luis Garcia wins it in stoppage time to secure top spot.
A fairly even game which was just edged at the death.
Cannavaro played the perfect 10 but it’s not enough, though we’ll see if KOTR sticks with no out and out keeper in the knockouts.
That’s the top two sorted out. Matt knows a win will take him through as one of the best third placed teams, a draw would eliminate both whilst Paddy needs a win to keep himself in the argument.
Matt_C_Wills vs 90sFootball
Matt’s leaving nothing at home with this formation.
Paddy brings in Ray Houghton and Valderrama, read into that what you will.
It doesn’t really work. Matt controls the game and goals from Denilson and Zitelli end Paddy’s interest in the tournament.
Poor finishing from both sides was apparent but that is why they were scrapping over 3rd place. Paddy takes home best calligraphy again.
Big Dion takes home man of the match for explaining the stairs lead to the master bedroom.
It’s great news for Matt, he moves on to 4 points which means he and Nick are ahead of footballacumen and winkveron with two groups still to go.
So not the most dramatic of days but nevertheless we have more of our qualifiers written in pen and tomorrow we’ll complete the lineup. As ever, my thanks to Paddy and Tom for their participation and support over the last 12 months. Better luck next time!
Special thanks to Matt here for jumping in to host the games when I had to drop out at the last minute when my son was unwell. Thank you!