U-18s win their 1st National Indoor Title
The U18s got their National Finals off to a great start, when they beat Lousada (last year’s champions) in their opening match yesterday. 0-1 down at the interval, they were irrepressible in the second half, coming back to win 5-1. Against a weaker Viso team in the afternoon, they had no problems winning 9-1.
But in this morning’s first match, Juventude proved a resilient and fairly physical opponent. A tight match saw the scores level at 1-1 at half time, but after the break Casuals accelerated into a 4-1 lead. Although Juventude (finally) had a player carded for repeated pushing, they managed to pull back a goal in the last minute to leave the final score 4-2 to the Casuals.
The final game to decide 1st and 2nd places between Casuals and CAMIR proved a thrilling cliffhanger: both teams were unbeaten, with CAMIR’s better goal difference giving them the advantage of only needing a draw. Each team scored from a short corner, but CAMIR took a 2-1 lead shortly before the interval. Although the Casuals were showing signs of tiredness from their morning game, they came out after the break in determined mood and equalised after only 20 seconds. They finally took a 3-2 lead but were pegged back to 3-3 five minutes from time, and it looked like CAMIR had done enough. But, with 2 minutes left on the clock, the Casuals forced a penalty corner which they converted and then hung on for a 4-3 win and the Lisbon Casuals’ first ever National Indoor title.
At the prize-giving ceremony, they were also awarded the prizes of “Player of the Tournament” – Miguel Ralha, and “Best Goalkeeper” – André Rosa.
This morning the U-12s played their first game against Futebol Benfica this season; Casuals started with only 4 players and were soon 0-2 down. However, they fought back to equalize 2-2 by the interval and then got into their stride in the 2nd half to score 4 more, ending clear winners by 6-3. The second game was an easy win against GD Carris, 11-1, to leave the U-12s undefeated going into the EN.NA.
For the Ladies’ last Indoor Tournament before the Nationals the only objective was to reach the final, and they duly won the first game against Belenenses 4-2. Now the real game was up to the youngest Casuals Ladies, because for the first time they played the whole match and it was after all the final of an indoor tournament! The young under-18 players kept the score tied at 1-1 until almost the end of the first half but, after their opponents’ second goal, the youngsters got a little lost and let in two more goals, reaching the interval 1-4 down. After a well deserved rest, they eventually conceded two more goals: but their goalie put in an outstanding performance, saving many shots and rebounds. The coaching team is very proud, despite the final 1-6 result – once again we showed great character. The Ladies would also like to congratulate the U18s for their fantastic results and for bringing home the Casuals’ first indoor National Title.