Goals. Drama & more.
SociaLiga Matchday 6 saw four teams put their unbeaten records on the line with two teams leaving with theirs. Saints FC and Cubs FC both from the Island Conference had gone the first 5 matchdays without a loss with both teams leading the chase for playoffs spots in their conference while Saints Ladies and Knights Ladies, who had both combined for 12 goals in 4 games, came in with 100% starts to the season.
Cubs FC’s unbeaten run came to an end in bitter fashion following back to back defeats to conference mates Knights FC & Saints FC. Knights FC’s Momoh scored the lone goal to earn Knights 3 vital points against Cubs and close the gap between them to 2pts while a controversial loss to Saints FC followed. After going one goal up, thanks to Dolapo aided by a few seconds of drowsiness by Saints’ goalkeeper Opeyemi, Cubs had a goal ruled out for handball by referee Odetayo Sunday which caused a stir, although replays showed the referee made the right decision. With his team 1-0 down at half time, Robert scored twice while Tolu Benson added a third to complete Saints comeback but it was Nurudeen who indeed ran the show. The Saints forward has been one of the club’s most consistent performers over the last two seasons and his hat-trick of assists for all 3 goals in the second half helped earn him a Player of the Week award. The win saw Saints stretch their unbeaten run to 17 games while sealing the #1 seed in the Island Conference for a second year in a row.
Elsewhere on the Island, Alphas & Guns both failed to pick up points and remained rooted to the bottom of the table. Alphas couldn’t take advantage of Knights poor defending as they could only settle for a draw while Guns were awarded an eye-brow raising penalty against Bravos Knights that saw them pull level after trailing by a lone goal at the break. Guns were extremely lucky not to have a penalty & a red card awarded against them after defender Biola handled the ball on the goal line with both hands. Alphas’ chances of making the playoff look slimmer than ever & only a proper choke job from Cubs FC & Knights FC would see them achieve that. Guns FC, on the other hand, have an outstanding game against Knights FC on the final day of the Regular Season & you do have a feeling this would be the most fiercely contested game we would see in the Regular Season.
Bravos Knights picked up 4pts from 2 games to become the first Mainland Conference team to qualify for the play-offs. After a 1-1 draw with Guns, they finished off Citizens early in the first half to secure their 5th win of the season taking their points tally to 17.
Following yet another loss to Raineri Ghost FC, Citizens FC became the first team since Czars FC to lose 3 games in a row; a result that has them down in 5th place and in need of a huge miracle to make the playoffs with just 2 games left. Royals were the biggest winners of Matchday 6 with 4 huge points and a big leap into 2nd place ahead of Raineri on head-to-head records. All Black’s Mayowa put in his best performance of the season to earn a draw against Royals with 3 brilliant stops, the one against Sly a certain contender for Save of the Season. Royals converted their chances against Raineri in their next game with Sly and Edgar getting on the scoresheet. Leading goal scorer, Shahin came close to adding to his tally after some brilliant trickery got him past 4 Royals defenders before narrowly blazing over the post. The result meant Royals had gained 7pts from 3 games, a huge improvement on their 4pts gained from the first 5 games.
Raineri Ghost FC shook off their disappointing defeat to Royals FC with a 2-0 win of their own over Citizens FC. With 2 games to go and with both Raineri and Royals locked on 11pts, 5pts ahead of All Black and 6pts ahead of Citizens, the 3 playoff teams in the Mainland Conference are all but certain and would take a huge, huge drama next matchday to turn things around in this conference.
|1||Bravos Knights FC||8||5||2||1||10||4||+6||17|
|3||Raineri Ghost FC||8||3||2||3||10||7||+3||11|
|4||All Black FC||8||1||3||4||3||12||-9||6|
Cubs Ladies and Bravos Ladies played out a goalless draw to earn their first points and cleansheets of the season following back to back defeats in their first 2 games. The game was relatively entertaining but obviously lacked that big goal that could have brought the game to life.
The match of the day, however, was Saints Ladies v Knights Ladies & it didn’t disappoint. When both teams met last season, Knights Ladies put 3 past a weak Saints Ladies to hand them their second of 3 losses in 4 games. This season, Saints Ladies underwent a huge overhaul bringing in new & exciting players, a move that has paid off. Saints Ladies came in to the game with 7 goals from 5 different scorers in just 2 games. Knights Ladies won the game courtesy Olamide & Natasha, both worldies from outside the box & instant contenders for the Goal of the Season award. Esther Akpan pulled one back for the Saints Ladies & they later came close to drawing level with an effort that hit the woodwork but Knights Ladies held on to record their 3rd victory in of the season & 5th in 6 SociaLiga games. With the earlier draw between Bravos Ladies & Cubs Ladies, both Saints Ladies & Knight Ladies remain strong favorites to reach the finals.
|3||Bravos Knights Ladies||3||0||1||2||0||5||-5||1|