Greetings and welcome to the final day of group games in the 2021 CM Cup. It’s been 8 days of (mostly) high quality drama and today promises to be no different. Group E includes the reigning champion who is on the verge of being dethroned; Group F is probably the tightest of all six with just about every result possible for all four teams involved. After the groups are done today stick around to see the knockout draw and some stats compiled by lovely Jakob. Let’s go!
Taitanator vs WillieWrap
Rob has been a wonderful champion. He’s held the title with pride for a year but he needs snookers to keep the dream alive of being the first man to retain it. Rob needs a handsome win, a 6 goal swing over Mark Carruthers (including a Mark loss) and to finish with a goal difference greater than 1. It’s the most uphill of tasks.
To make matters worse, he faces Jakob who himself still needs a result to go through. A point will be enough but topping the group could make all the difference.
What Rob didn’t need was to go behind but on 26 minutes, that is exactly what happened when Molnar netted his fifth of the tournament. Just when Rob was thinking it couldn’t get worse, an injury to goalkeeper Prats meant the arrival of Giovanelli between the sticks. Initially there was some hope as Bierhoff’s equaliser did at least leave it level at half time. Soon though the flaws of the sub keeper were exposed, Molnar plundering a quick fire double to secure his hat-trick either side of Balakov rifling in a free kick. Bye Andersen put the cherry on the cake and we have to say Bye Taitanator.
Actually a reasonably even game despite the scoreline.
Molnar though was the difference as he has been for Jakob so far. An early golden boot contender. An all round top performance though, nobody really excelling for Rob.
With one game to go, Jakob qualifies and will top the group unless S4ooter can win by 4 clear goals or more.
Mark can pinch second place if he can win.
MarkCarruthers_ vs S4ooter
Mark has to have a grey keeper on the bench due to Campos’ injury. Otherwise, it’s unchanged.
Dan is adjusting to life without the injured Figo and Ronaldo. He’ll be hoping they return for the knockouts which he is guaranteed to achieve now.
Mark comes flying out of the traps and Shearer gives him a deserved lead. It only last 12 minutes though before Simone equalises. Papin restores Mark’s lead right on the stroke of half time and things are brewing up nicely. Klinsmann has other ideas. He scores twice in the second half, his second goal a potentially crucial blow to Mark but from the kick off Kanchelskis levels it up to ensure it finishes all level and both teams advance.
Not a good game for the goalkeepers who made one save between them.
Kanchelskis’ late goal secures him man of the match.
With that, the group finishes with Jakob top of the pile, Dan through in second and Mark securing one of the best third place finishes. Rob is unfortunately cast in the role of Spain 2014.
Let’s get to the final group.
Retrofootygames vs RossBell1984
Dan Barker knows he needs a win so has gone with three up front for the occasion. Mark Hughes is in lads, watch out.
The worst Ross can finish is third and with 4 points he will go through regardless. Sick of Fowler’s profligacy, Palhinha is in up front.
Andy Cole he scores goals. And does poor raps called Outstanding. His goal though puts the cat amongst the pigeons and we start to wonder…is Dan going to pull this off? Yeboah equalises and sub Pizzi wins it. Dan out, Ross through. Dashed in 9 minutes.
Deservedly so in the end. Ross just had enough to call upon.
Taffarel has been outstanding in this tournament and today is no different but it wasn’t enough.
2 points isn’t enough to trouble the 3rd place table for Dan and it’s just a question of whether he will finished 3rd or 4th.
TJRostance vs QuicklyKevin
Tom breaks out the diamond, very aware that he needs to do something different to find a way to 3 points. Breacker and Maldini are a full back match made in heaven.
Michael is still at the wheel for Quickly Kevin and it’s still 4-2-3-1 with Baggio back in the number 10 spot.
This has the hallmarks of a classic but an early red card is a disaster for Tom. Tony Adams commits the cynical foul on Wright and Roberto Baggio makes no mistake from the spot. He doubles the lead before half time before Wright gets in on the act after the break with a double. Mario Jardel pulls one back but it is nothing more than a consolation and Tom waves goodbye.
Maldini and Chilavert did their bit. Tom’s midfield conundrum was never really solved and Michael’s quality up top showed in the end.
No surprise to see the stats so one sided after 80 minutes with 10 men.
Confirmation then of Ross and Michael moving through to the last 16.
…and Winkveron joining them as the 3rd place table is finalised. Andrew departs on goal difference.
The all important graphic! Where will our winner come from?
Statsarama thanks to Jakob 🙂
Big thanks to Jakob again for the stats and also Rob who hosted Group E for me when I was on parenting duty.
Incredible scenes then and the end of this phase of the tournament. We now move on to the knockouts – starting tomorrow! Thanks for reading and bye for now.