Lions Gibraltar win Capurro Insurance Cup as tournament raises £1320 for charity
Lions Gibraltar was to walk away with the third edition of the Capurro Insurance Cup after beating hosts Zoca Bastion on penalties in the final.
After a very successful two previous editions, this year was nothing short of what the tournament brought to the futsal calendar. Raising £540 in its first year, £740 in its 2nd year and this year raising for charity a healthy £1320 for Prostate Cancer Gibraltar and Special Olympics.
Karl Ullger (Zoca Bastion Co-President & Tournament organiser) said: "It was an absolute success and joy to see so many from the Futsal community getting together and making the tournament a success. The main 2 aims of the tournament was to raise monies for local charities but at the same time have a pre season futsal tournament which is the closest in echoing the actual GFA Futsal league. This way preparing teams for the imminent season start in terms of fitness and tactics.
“I would like to give a massive thanks to again Annie Risso and her staff from the Special Olympics for letting us use the complex, Sportradar for donating a healthy amount towards the monies raised and of course the main sponsor, Capurro Insurance for making the tournament possible and supporting the cause. And not forgetting all the background management staff that helped the running of the day such as the 3 GFA refs. Thank you all”
Despite the tournament being of a ‘friendly nature’ it followed all the FIFA Futsal rules and still had that competitive nature of teams wanting to win and proceed throughout the tournament.
Group 1 produced 32 goals in total to what was to be dominated by newly promoted Saxon F.C and the tenacious ‘never let die’ attitude from Calpe City. Both eventually progressing into the Semi Final and putting Saxon F.C Forward, Matthew Langtry on top of the highest goal scorers list with an impressive 5 goals in 3 games. Div 2 outfit, Trafalgar F.C finding difficult to come to terms with the fast pace of the football and finally Special Olympics F.C who battled through their games with a very good opening performance vs Calpe City just narrowly losing 3-2 and finishing bottom of their group.
The tournament then produced a shock exit in Group 2 from the double winners, Bavaria at the group stages. Bavaria needed a win in their last game and only managed to draw vs a strong and well organised Zoca Bastion. The group was taken by Lions F.C who had to really earn their position with a 4-2 win over a full throttle College F.C. College took the lead with a great Jemar Matto goal but Lions’ experience took them in front and across the finish line.
Semi- Final 1 presented an intense encounter vs tournament hosts, Zoca Bastion who had shown so far a very steady and well disciplined performance vs the fast passing Saxon F.C. After a tight and zealous start to the game Zoca began to take the majority of possession with some very neat passing. The only goal of the game came from Zoca debutant, Karl Balestrino taking his chances with a long range shot from his own half and scoring past the Saxon keeper. Zoca known for their well drilled defensive qualities, Saxon’s found it very hard to break The Bastion wall. Resulting in Saxon’s opting for the fly keeper tactic in the remaining 4 mins of the game but Zoca Keeper, Stefan Mascharenha having non of it with 3 mouth dropping saves.
Semi- Final 2 was an intense affair between group 2 winners Lions F.C and Calpe City. Both teams hungry to attack from the kick off, it was the Division 2 team, Calpe City that took the lead with a screamer from Julian Mcgrail. Unfortunately, this wasn’t long lived as Lions replied quickly through a James Castle Goal. The match ended 1-1 which meant a penalty shootout. Here one of the tournaments star players, Lions F.C Goalkeeper, Denzel Navarro stepped up to the challenge and saved a Calpe City penalty that took Lions into the well deserved final.
Once again the final produced another exciting game in which the Special Olympics Complex produced a packed stand by fellow teams, family and friends. Zoca Bastion playing a very well drilled performance instilled by their manager, Chris Currer and Lions F.C physically ready for the challenge fuelled by their coach, Kian Hansen. Without doubt the goal of the tournament came in the final with a half way line long range shot by Zoca Captain, Carl Linares. Zoca took charge of the game and was very close in taking a 2nil lead with another long range shot from Zoca talisman, Paul Podesta which resulted in a post and crossbar smash and out for a throw-in. Zoca seemed to have the game under control until Toni Alvarez came off the bench to produce the final equaliser. At this point the game was for the taking but the tournament best players stepped up and produced save after save for their respective teams. Both keepers, Mascharenha and Navarro doing stand out performances. Finally nothing could divide the teams and so it went to the lottery of penalty taking. Lions F.C taking this years cup with a 5-4 win over Zoca Bastion. Both very well deserved finalists and will for sure be two teams to watch out for in this year’s Futsal Premier.
Tournament Highest GS: Matthew Langtry (Saxon F.C)
SportRadar MVP: Stefan Mascharenha (Zoca Bastion F.C)
Saxon F.C 0 vs 1 Zoca Bastion FC
Lions F.C 1 VS 1 Calpe City
Lions won on pens 3-2
Lions F.C 1 vs 1 Zoca Bastion F.C
Lions won on pens 5-4
Watch out for more Images in this week’s print edition