In the National Indoor Finals this afternoon, the Ladies got off to a good start, beating Lousada 2-1 in their first game. They opened the scoring after 4 minutes and increased their lead mid-way into the second half. In a tight game, they had to keep their concentration and, although their opponents pulled back a goal 2 minutes from time, the Casuals had no problems holding out until the final hooter.
Their second match against last year’s champions Belenenses was a more open and pacy game, and full of twists and turns. A first strike by Belenenses in the 2nd minute did not upset the Casuals’ confidence,and a few minutes later they were level. A further goal from Belenenses was again cancelled out by an equaliser and the first half ended 2-2, with the Casuals unlucky to twice hit the woodwork. After several amazing saves by both keepers and a stop on the line by a Belenenses defender at a penalty corner, the Casuals finally took the the lead from a very intelligent break with less than 10 minutes left. When the same defender caught the ball as it was headed for the roof of the net, it looked like the ensuing penalty could close out the game: but the Casuals’ misfortune continued when the flick hit the post for the third time in the game. With the midfield tiring towards the end of a very physical game, Belenenses were able to apply pressure to find the equaliser with just 2 minutes left. The Casuals have made an excellent start to these Finals and, with 2 more matches on Sunday (at 9.30 and 14.10), anything is still possible.