Portugal Enters Crucial Stage Of Season

The regular season in Portugal is winding down with both the Porto Mutts and Lisboa Devils having a stranglehold on first place in their respective conferences. The Mutts are averaging almost 40 points a game and remain undefeated at 5-0 with their blanking of the Renegades. The Devils, who were idle and still have two games remaining, have a 4-0 record and could very well enter stage two undefeated.

Season format has changed

The Portuguese season format has changed slightly this year in addition to the earlier start.

Although there is still a South and North conference in Portugal, the season is divided into a six-game stage where each team plays the teams from their own conference, and a second inter-conference stage. . The last games from the six-game stage will be played on February 13 and 14. Then second stage of the regular season takes place with two games being played between teams from the different conferences. The schedule of stage two will be determined by the standings after the first six games.

 In the playoffs, the winner of each conference (after both regular season stages) will go directly to the semi finals. The second place team in each conference will play against the fifth and sixth best team overall. In this scenario, we could have four teams from the South in the playoff, or we could have all four teams from the North.

 Algarve Sharks (2-3) 66 – Lisboa Navigators  (2-4) 36

Portugal - Sharks v Navigators -Jan. 31-16

Photo: Sergio Godset Godhino

In a rematch following the December game in Algarve where the Navigators beat the Sharks 19-13, the Sharks traveled to Lisbon to face the Navigators on their home field.
Both teams opened strong and the Navigators scored first on a run by running back Marco Madeira. After that, the Sharks responded with a touchdown pass from Ryan DeLoureiro to Brandon SooHoo. It was the first of four touchdown passes from DeLoureiro, two caught by SooHoo.  The game was back and forth and at halftime the teams were separated by only one touchdown (22-14 ) in favor of the Sharks.
In the second half, both teams kept scoring. The Navigators used their ground game to move down the field and score points. But the Sharks were able to score also on the ground, as well as with their defense and twice on special teams. This proved to be too much and the Sharks got a “revenge win” and moved up to second place in the south group with a 66-36 victory.

Porto Mutts (5-0) 51 – Porto Renegades (2-3) 0

Portugal - Mutts v Renegades -Jan. 31-16

Photo: PhotoSports

In a clash between the two teams from Porto, the Porto Mutts ended up being too strong for the Renegades. The Mutts scored four times on the ground, with two touchdowns from João Marques and two from António Neves.
Quarterback Alex Soares threw two touchdowns to Brian Lopes. The last touchdown was on special teams with João Marques scoring on a punt return. Kicker Hélio Reis was perfect on extra point conversions with 7/7.
Tiago Costa also grabbed a safety to seal the shutout as the Mutts defense played outstanding football hold the Renegades to 0 points. With this win, the Mutts secured first place in the north at the end of the first phase of the regular season.


Portugal - standings week 5 - 2pic

 Photo credits: Sergio Godset Godinho, PhotoSports.

André Amorim has been involved in American Football in Portugal for over 9 years, having played and coached in the only two teams that have won championships in that country. From 2007 to 2013 he played and coached with the Lisboa Navigators the