Archive for the ‘Sports – football’ Category


Albufeira Walking Football Tournament 2017

In Albufeira,Sports - football,Sports - football, soccer on March 21, 2017 by cubsur51 Tagged: ,

The second annual Albufeira Walking Football tournament took place on Monday 20th March at the Campo Palmeiras, adjacent to the Albufeira Municipal stadium. I was one of the referees.

Twelve teams took part in the all day event, across three pitches. Teams included several from the UK, some from the Algarve region (mostly ex-pats) and there was a team from the ‘Silver Coast’area of Portugal up near Peniche.

A good day was had by all. The event was won by a local team, SOS, based in Olhão, who beat Wigan Walkers in the final, which went to a penalty shootout after a 0-0 draw.

For those that don’t know, walking football has really taken off within the past couple of years. Superficially, it resembles five a side or seven a side football but there are two very important criteria – (1) you have to be 50 years or over and (2) it is WALKING and not running. For a referee it is very hard to spot running, especially if it is behind you. Sneaky ones, some of them. It is moving quickly towards being a completely non-contact sport, which will make it more appealing to some, less appealing to others.

If you are thinking about coming here, the weather means that most games can be played outdoors on synthetic grass pitches. This website will give you information about walking football around the Algarve.

The British equivalent website is

A folder of the pictures I took on the day when not officiating can be seen at!Am0w7qp9HCpqgr06-OyoZ673q3F66Q

PS All links will open in a new window.


Australia 2 China 1

In Algarve,Portugal,soccer,Sports - football,Sports - football, soccer on March 7, 2017 by cubsur51 Tagged: ,

Yesterday in Albufeira, Australia 2 China 1. Australia are going up in the world of women’s football, now being 6th, one place below England. Below, the net bulges as Polkinghorne  (4) scores Australia’s late winner in what had been a pretty poor game. Australias late winner

Other afternoon results : Iceland 0 Spain 0, Norway 0 Japan 2 and Sweden 0 Netherlands 1

Australia tied with the Netherlands, both on 6 points, I think they put Australia top as they beat Netherlands (Netherlands had a better goal difference, so that’s not the decider), Sweden finish third with 4 and China fourth with 1. In group B it’s ended with Spain winners on 7 points, Japan 6, Iceland Norway 1.

ALGARVE CUP Final group results Group B

Russia 1 – 6 Denmark and Portugal 0 – 0 Canada
Fixtures Final match Day Wednesday 8th March
At Albufeira stadium
1445 3rd and 4th place playoff Australia v Denmark
1830 7th and 8th place Sweden v Russia
At Parchal
1445 11th and 12th place Norway v Portugal
1830 9th and 10th place Iceland v China
At the Algarve Stadium
1445 5th and 6th place Japan v Netherlands
1830 FINAL Spain v Canada

The Australia v China was poor stuff , in comparison to the other two games I had watched.  Both teams had enough of the ball to create several goal scoring opportunities but, particularly in the case of Australia, passing was woeful and also the Aussies had an almost pathological aversion to crossing the ball towards the strikers. Why make one pass when ten will do?

China too the lead on 36 minutes through Wang Shanshan.  My goal decision technology shows the ball clearly crossed the line – it was a long shot catching the goalkeeper way off her line.

Australia equalised just on the hour, this time the ball was actually crossed and Gielnik finsihed well from a tight angle, chipping the ball over and past the goalkeeper into the opposite corner of the goal

Towards the end, the Chinese got a little tetchy. The referee had cause to speak to several players and yellow cards were brandished, one to the goalkeeper for persistent timewasting and one for a very poor challenge, with which the player clearly did not agree. The Chinese were already starting a big inquest as the final whistle blew.



Japan 2 Iceland 0 Algarve Women’s Cup 2017

In Albufeira,Portugal,Sports - bike race,Sports - football,Sports - football, soccer on March 4, 2017 by cubsur51 Tagged: , ,

It was a wet and windy day at Parchal for this game. A strong and gusting wind plus short, sharp and fairly icy showers made things a little difficult for both teams.

A small crowd braved the elements.

Japan started off at a furious pace, which they maintained for most of the match. They were rewarded with two goals in the first 15 minutes, which turned out to be the only scores.

Both goals were scored by Yui Hasegawa. The first was with a long range shot from all of 30 metres that Iceland’s ‘keeper, who was way off her line, misjudged. It sailed over her head into the net. Watch the goal – scroll down to 16:06

The second came after a good sprawling save by the same ‘keeper, the ball spilled loose, defenders were slow to react, the ball came into Hasegawa for an easy tap-in.

Japan were zipping nimbly around, playing a short passing game that had the Icelandic defenders chasing shadows half the time. A couple of them looked very slow indeed. At the other end, Iceland’s strikers managed not one shot on goal during the first half.

It was more of the same in the second half. Despite Iceland playing five up front at times, they managed to force only a couple of half chances. Japan were content to soak up the pressure and did have one really good opportunity to increase their lead, but the Iceland goalie was up to the task and saved well.

The game drifted towards its end among the usual mass of subsitutions and a lot of bad language from the (male) Iceland coach. The rain was hammering down at the final whistle and continued to do so while I walked back to Ferragudo station.

Some pictures below. I couldn’t get the big camera to work. I think it may be on the way to camera heaven.

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Sara Björk Gunnarsdottir received her 100th cap for Iceland today

It was from this save that Hasegawa (number 17) scored her second. Sorry for picture quality! Observe lack of white shirted defenders.

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Hasegawa second

Almost a third for Japan


A rare bit of sunshine during the game!

A rare attacking threat from Iceland, blotted out by massed defence.


Japan defend en masse


Don’t see this at football grounds these days! He was German, from Potsdam.

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Fan with wooden rattle

The stadium dog befriended the man with the rattle and his mate. A cry of ‘hilfe’ was heard as the dog obviously thought his luck was in.

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Stadium dog


England U-17 1 Netherlands U-17 0

In Albufeira,Sports - football,Sports - football, soccer on February 14, 2017 by cubsur51 Tagged: , , ,

The final game of England’s U-17 short tournament down here in the Algarve. They had lost to Portugal and beaten Germany before this game.

The scene was rather a contrast to the paddy fields of Saturday! A crowd of about 250 watched an interesting but not spectacular game, which ended in a 1-0 win for England. The only goal was a short-range header by Stephen Walker of Middlesbrough FC after 31 minutes. England had by far the better of the game  until the final few minutes, when a Dutch rally almost created an equaliser.

Here is the team sheet. Keep it for 4 or 5 years and see then how many are playing in the Premier League. Bet you no more than one or two!

Team sheet England U-17 v Netherlands U-17 140217 Albufeira Portugal

Team sheet England U-17 v Netherlands U-17 140217 Albufeira Portugal

I took a few pictures, not very good as I only had my small camera.

Albufeira Municipal Stadium 14 February 2017. England in white, Netherlands in orange

Albufeira Municipal Stadium 14 February 2017. England in white, Netherlands in orange

England goalkeeper comes out to head clear of an attacker

England goalkeeper comes out to head clear of an attacker

The Dutch defence was under pressure for a lot of the game

The Dutch defence was under pressure for a lot of the game

A rare Dutch attack denied by good defending. The ball is going just wide of the goalpost

A rare Dutch attack denied by good defending. The ball is going just wide of the goalpost

England's Stephen Walker, arrowed, steals in that far post to head the goal from close range. The ball is high above the goal

England’s Stephen Walker, arrowed, steals in the far post to head the goal from close range. The ball is high above the goal

Just before the end, slack defence let in Netherlands for this chance but the header hit the goalpost and bounced to safety.

Just before the end, slack defence let in Netherlands for this chance but the header hit the goalpost and bounced to safety.

A few moments later, England’s goalkeeper made a fine save from a long range shot to give Englna a fairly well deserved win.


Very wet and windy Albufeira

In Albufeira,Sports - football,Sports - football, soccer,the weather and things on February 12, 2017 by cubsur51 Tagged: , , ,

Friday and especially Saturday were very wet and windy here. This is the local football pitch at half time on Saturday afternoon. Imortal Albufeira v Messinense, Algarve League Division One.


Albufeira Municipal stadium half time Saturday 11th February

Yes, half time. The football authorities here care not at all concerned about the welfare of players nor that fact the people pay to watch in such conditions.

The only good thing about the afternoon was that we won 1-0. A token crowd of about 50 fans huddled in the deepest recesses of the main stand to escape the driving rain which fell almost constantly until just before the end of the game.


Ajax at Ferreiras, Albufeira, 7th January 2017

In Albufeira,soccer,Sports - football,Sports - football, soccer on January 8, 2017 by cubsur51 Tagged: , ,

Teams from Holland, Germany etc come down to the Algarve for ‘training camps’ during their 3 week winter break. They play ‘friendly’ matches between each other and this year we had a good match up between Ajax and RB Leipzig. Ajax are currently 2nd in the Dutch League, Leipzig are 2nd in the German Bundesliga. It was a pretty good game, full on, at least three players were cautioned and the ref was generally kept busy. Ajax won 5-1, which featured a hat-trick from Younes. The crowd was estimated at 900, including fans from both teams and a good number of locals. It was a nice sunny day. The bar was kept busy as one might expect. Click the box below for some pictures.

There is a six minute video highlights clip at – if you can get it to open! The game was broadacast live on Dutch and Portuguese TV, this is their footage.

That game was preceded by a game between the Ajax ‘B’ team and Excelsior Rotterdam from the Dutch Second Division. A very hesitant show by Ajax, they were more concerned with keeping the ball than doing anything with it. Excelsior were much more powerful on and off the ball. Ajax ‘keeper was Tim Krul . Krul is still officially a Newcastle player but is  on loan to Ajax, who apparently have banished him to the reserves. His cause won’t have been helped by two horrible mistakes, including being lobbed from about 40 metres while wandering about on the edge of his penalty area.

Not a bad day for €7,50 covering both games.


A strange little football ground

In Pictures from England,soccer,Sports - football,Sports - football, soccer on September 19, 2016 by cubsur51 Tagged: , ,

While I was UK my former home town team played an FA cup-tie at Ascot United FC. Many of you will know Ascot as the location of one of the UK’s premier horse race courses, Royal Ascot and all that. Well the foootball ground is inside the racecoourse, making it one of the more unlikely places I have ever been to watch a game!

In the background to this photo you can see the seven furlong marker of the New Mile. this is the straight track which HM Queen comes down in procession when she attends the races there. (The goalkeeper is of Ascot United, being sent the wrong way by a Tonbridge penalty.)


Ascot United FC and the Racecourse

There’s a little gate in the fence so they can retrieve footballs. They cannot play when there is a race meeting on. The previous match had to be on a Friday evening, this game was played on a Sunday afternoon after a two day meeting had concluded.

Don’t go to Ascot after a two day meeting. The pubs in the town had been drunk dry by racegoers! Luckily the football club did have some to offer, although not of the preferred real ale variety.

The crowd was 430, comfortably the biggest attendance they’ve had. The result was a 2-2 draw, with the home side almost winning in the dying moments but a penalty was superbly saved by the Tonbridge goalkeeper.

The English FA Cup still has replays. That followed on the Tuesday after, which Tonbridge won comfortably 7-0.

The most recent cup tie was a 3-0 away win at Wingate and Finchley FC and the reward a third qualifying round match at home to Hereford.  Hereford FC was formed in 2014 after the demise of the established Hereford United FC and currently plays in the semi-professional Southern League South and West Division.

I am sure a large number of travelling fans will be heading to Tonbridge for a day out on 1st October. Their last home league game was watched by a crowd of 3102! They play in the eighth tier of English Football. They have more fans than several Superliga teams here in Portugal where I live. Only a couple of other teams in that league have crowds of even near 1,000. Most are much less well supported.

A couple of other pictures from Ascot.


Pre-match ambience at the ‘picnic area’ by the clubhouse and bar.


Tonbridge, in blue, score their first – you can just see the ball inside the goal behind the defenders.