Two Casuals teams travelled to Lousada yesterday for their league matches. In the first game, the U18s seemed to be in control as they went into half time with a 3-1 advantage. But Lousada started the second half on the attack, and some sloppy defending saw them score 3 goals in 7 minutes to take a 4-3 lead. Casuals went close in the final minutes, including a flick that just cleared the bar, but were unable to find another goal.
The Ladies however restored Casuals pride with a narrow 1-o win. Despite a very open game, neither side was able to find the net in the first half. But Casuals took the lead early in the second from a great reverse stick shot. Lousada came back strongly and on several occasions Casuals had their goalkeeper to thank for keeping them in the game and ensuring victory.
This morning the Men hosted Futebol Benfica in their league fixture. Despite the visitors holding a 1-0 lead at the interval from a penalty corner after 9 minutes, Casuals held their own and equalised – also from a low penalty corner strike. They showed some much improved play against the new league leaders but were cruelly undone by a freakish own goal 7 minutes from time. There was further frustration when a Casuals strike from the top of the circle clattered off the post and several penalty corner chances for an equaliser went begging.
In the afternoon the U14s put in a really commendable performance to win both games against the Indoor EN.NA runners-up, Futebol Benfica. With 4 players from the U12s, it took a while for the team to settle down into the new formation, but by the second period the defenders had the hang of playing the ball up the wings and a good passing combination put them 1-0 up at the interval. They then took control of the game to win 4-0, all goals from open play.
However, in the second game, just as with the U12s a week ago, fatigue and the heat took hold: Futebol Benfica finally got into their stride and Casuals were soon 1-3 down. But again they refused to be beaten, were tireless in defence and managed to score three goals in a row from open play in the last period to win 4-3.
To round off a busy weekend, the Ladies were at home to Sport Club for their second league match. Looking a little jaded from the previous day’s exertions, they were 0-1 down at the interval. Sport scored a second, but Casuals came back strongly to 1-2 and then equalised at 2-2. In a frenetic finish, neither side was able to find a winner, but this draw keeps the Casuals Ladies at the top of the league table.