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PORTUS FUTSAL EUROCUP 2004

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The report

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The draw - one of the highest points of the day

 
The first day - friday, 9 th July
 
If we know that it is important to start things well, the PORTUSEUROCUP couldn't have started in a better way. The official reception to all the participants at the Cerimonies Room of Maia City Hall it was really impressive. Because it envolved the presence of the City Mayor - Mr. Bragança Fernandes - himself. Because almost all the teams were there (except Rapid from Moldova, with some last moment transportation problems) giving a great atmosphere to the event. And because this ceremony was a perfect way to welcome our guests, to make our draw and explain the basic regulations of the tournament.
 
 
After the welcome message from the City Mayor and the organization presentation of the tournament it was the time for the most waited moment of this first day: the draw. In a very relaxed way, the groups were decided and the fixtures completed. The Spanish teams Cefera and Arapa "wanted" to be together in Group A but the regulations were very clear about that: each group has teams from different nationalities. And eventually the draw was completed: GROUP A: Portus87, UEA, Cefera, Kick-off Kessel
GROUP B: Dynamic, Kloostermanroad, Arapa, Rapid
Now, the games could begin...but we all had to wait for the next day. The anxiety was growing...

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The players in the...audience

Second Day - Saturday, 10th July
 
The day started very early, at least for the organisers, who have to prepare everything for the competition at the Eurocup Arena.
The first team to arrive was Rapid from Moldova - they had to wait a long time for their starting game...
The tournament kick-off envolved the home team - PORTUS87 - and University of East Anglia (UEA), two old "friends", from a preparation match played...two days before!

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The Eurocup is about to begin - Portus87 and UEA are ready to go

In the end of the match the 1-1 draw was maybe unfair to Portus domination but the English fight back with dignity. The other Group A match finished with a natural win (3-0) of CD Cefera over Kick Off Kessel, altough the Belgians never gave up and fought until the end.
Then, time for Group B, that started with a interesting challenge: the Kloostermanroad team defeated (3-0) a nice multinational Dynamic (two Belgium, two English and two Portuguese). A great game was to follow this one: Arapa vs. Rapid. Two very different styles but both effective and atractive, with the consistency of the Spanish beating (3-1) the skilful Moldovan.

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Arapa and Rapid preparing themselves for a good match

In the second round, at Group A Portus87 got a good advantage over UEA to qualify beating Kick Off Kessel (5-0) while the English lost to Cefera for the same result. At Group B, things looked almost decided when Rapid defeated Kloostermanroad and Arapa did the same against Dynamic.
With Cefera qualified at Group A, their win over Portus 87 (3-0), opened things in term of second place and qualification to the Vintage Cup, but UEA couldn't get the seven goal victory they needed against Kick-Off and so Portus87 got the second position.
Group B also had some emotion at this last round, because after Rapid beating Dynamic and qualifying, the game Arapa-Kloostermanroad was very close until the end creating many doubts, that were finished by 3 Spanish goals almost in a row.

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Nice fans always help...for a great atmosphere

One thing was pretty true by then: after 6 hours of futsal everything was going almost perfect: good games, fair-play all the time, good referees performance, friendly atmosphere everywhere - in the stands, at the bar, etc - and people having lots of fun. And things were promising for the final day.

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A great sight: the club and national flags in the Arena

But the second Eurocup day wasn´t over yet: still time for the tournament party at the Eurocup Official Bar at Maia, the Harley Rock Caffe.
In a nice atmosphere it was possible for the participants get to know each other a little bit better, while drinking a beer and watching the futsal action of the day in the video-wall. It was really fun to see ourselves playing on "TV", in the middle of some laughs and good humour.
Of course there were some teams and players more worried about next morning matches, but as always there are the ones who want to do it all: buzz and footy. What a deal!

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In the middle is the Mayor of Maia, Mr. Bragança Fernandes

Third day - Sunday, 11 th July
 
After the EUROCUP PARTY wasn't easy to wake up early on Sunday morning, but when the perspective is to play futsal who cares about sleeping?
And of course there wasn't any delay (in all the tournament the teams were always very punctual) altough we could see some tired faces...
The second day started with the TAWNY CUP and a small surprise: the improving Dynamic beated UEA by a clear 4-1, getting to the Tawny final with Kloostermanroad Team late winners of Kick-off Kessel (6-0).
Then, the first VINTAGE CUP semifinal was probably the best game of the tournament: a emotive draw between CD Cefera and Rapid, with the Moldovans playing brillian futsal against the Spanish organization. If the match was a 20 minutes one Rapid would have won (3-1) but after 40 minutes and penalties the victory was Spanish (11-10). But what a game it was!

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Emotion and good futsal from Rapid and Cefera

Unhappily the second Vintage semifinal wasn't that emotive: Arapa outplayed the host team, Portus87, by a clear 7-2, and completed the menu for a all Spanish final.
But before the decise match of the Eurocup, time for the Tawny Trophy finals, where UEA escaped the last position, beating (1-0) Kick-off Kessel. It's important to say that even this match was played with all the will and energy (nevertheless the teams were now a little tired).
At the Tawny final, Kloostermanroad were superior to Dynamic and earned the trophy with all the justice.
After Rapid having proved their quality once again at expenses of Portus87 to get the 3rd final position in the tournament, it was the time for the Big Final.

As expected this was a very good match, played with all the heart and soul, with things only to be decided in the last minutes. The most coherent futsal of CD Cefera was to strong to Arapa, that showed great fighting spirit and some great combinations. The final result of 4-2 shows that things could have gone different but it's fair to say that Cefera was the best team present in Maia for this tournament.
 

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Spanish final action

In the final as well as during all the tournament is important to notest that the referees - Nelson, Ricardo, Francisco e Vítor - had a great role in the sucess of this event, working very hard and showing good form and a balanced attitude. Thank you to them!
Then, it was time to handover the trophies to all teams and to the players with best performance. Best Player: Sergin (Rapid) - 3 nominations for Man Of the Match; Best Defense/GK: Manuel Garcia (Cefera) - 5 goals conceded; Best Scorer: Rafael Martinez (Arapa) - 11 goals scored. Special congratulations for this men!

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The tournament was now over, but one of the most waited moments of the event was still to come: the visit to the Port Wine Cellars. And it was really a nice time for all, with everybody in a good mood - the perfect way to finish a very special weekend that we will never forget. Thank you all and we hope we see you soon!

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At the Port Wine Cellars: the sweet goodbye

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