The “Fidelidade” sports hall in Lisbon hosted today the first day of the Female League Cup Final Four. Today the semifinals were scheduled and both the games were extremely balanced and deeply exciting: nobody got bored today watching the best of European female hockey.
SL Benfica and Hostelcur Gijon won their semifinal and will play for the title tomorrow starting from 6 PM WET, live both on Benfica TV and Cerh TV.
The first semifinal between SL Benfica and CP Voltregà, the defending champion, has been one of the best female game of rink hockey ever played. In front of almost 2.000 shouting fans, the home team performed a compelling comeback, turning the result from 2-4 to 5-4 in the last six minutes of the game. CP Voltregà stayed ahead in the score for almost all game long, closing the first half with 3 goals scored against only one by Benfica. At the beginning of the second half, the Portuguese team tried once to fill the gap, but the third point by Berta Tarrida seemed to close the match. Animated by its fans, Benfica never lost its hope to revert the match and so it did in the last minutes of the game with three goals in a very short time: Macarena Ramos, Marlene Sousa and again Ramos gave to the game an unexpected epilogue and pushed SL Benfica to the final of tomorrow.
The second semifinal was most balanced than expected. The newcomer Stuart Massama make the game very difficult to Hostelcur Gijon. In the first half, the saves of the Portuguese goalie Claudia Vicente allowed Stuart to stay in the game, making the Spanish team nervous and nervous. The Spanish team went ahead after 20 minutes of sterile attacks but was early passed by a double o Ana Ferreira. Gijon tied only in the end of the first half thanks to a goal by Maria Diez after a direct hit.
Gijon won the game in the first 10 minutes of the second half when the points scored by Sara and Marta Gonzales and Julieta Fernandez, gave an unbridgeable advantage to the Spanish team. Nevertheless, Stuart never gave up and tried once again to recover the match, scoring twice with its captain Tania Freire who failed the direct hit after the 10th Spanish fouls. In the last minutes, while Stuart tried to hardly attack, Gijon found the last two goals that closed the match.
Tomorrow at 6 PM WET, SL Benfica and Hostelcur Gijon will play the Final of the Female League Cup: Benfica seeking the 2nd victory of its history after the one in Manlleu in 2015; Gijon looking for its fourth trophy after six seasons from the last one in Vale de Lobos (PT) in 2012.
SL BENFICA – CP VOLTREGA 5-4 (half time: 1-3)
SCORERS: 1.03 Tarrida (CPV), 5.48 Rita Lopes (SLB), 6.05 Tarrida (CPV), 15.36 Gutierrez (CPV). 2nd half: 7.15 Rute Lopes (SLB), 9.21 Tarrida (CPV), 18.42 Ramos (SLB), 20.41 Sousa (SLB), 21.47 Ramos (SLB).
SL BENFICA: M.Vieira, Sousa, Arsenio, I.Vieira, Ramos, Abreu, Leal, Ri.Lopes, Ru.Lopes, Coelho. Coach: De Almeida.
CP VOLTREGA: Lafon, Lee, Tarrida, Barcelo, Romero, Gutierrez, Arxe, Lopez, Comas, Bernadas. Coach: Borregan.
REFEREES: Silecchia and Ferraro from Italy.
STUART MASSAMA – HOSTELCUR GIJON 4-7 (half time: 2-2)
SCORERS: 20.21 Roces (HCG), 21.41 Ferreira (HCM), 23.08 Ferreira (HCM), 23.57 Diez (HCG). 2nd half: 0.22 S.Gonzalez (HCG), 3.29 M.Gonzales (HCG), 11.06 Fernandez (HCG), 12.30 Freire (HCM), 16.50 Freire (HCM), 17.55 Fernandez (HCG), M.Gonzales (HCG).
STUART MASSAMA: Caldeira, Moncovio, Freire, Ferreira, Jorge, Lopes, Paulo, Costa, Masclans, Vicente. Coach: Barata.
HOSTELCUR GIJON: E.Gonzalez, M.Gonzalez, S.Gonzales, Fernandez, Obeso, Roces, Diez, Casarramona, Soberon, Morera. Coach: Muñoz.
REFEREES: Hanras and Rizzotti (France).
BLUE CARDS: Freire, Ferreira.
FEMALE LEAGUE CUP – LISBON 2018 – PHOTOS
A wide variety of pictures free to use are available at this link.