Back for More Soccer
Soccer minds think alike – or so do they say when derby matches are up on the schedule list. Most spectators of the AUBG Soccer League have been impatiently waiting for the tournament to head to its ultimate stage, the play – offs, and at last they have been granted that wish. With only four teams left to compete (Black Eagles, O Zatep, Black Jaguars and BARnaSELOna) and six kick-offs to go through (a couple of two semi-finals, a third place match and the big finale) the closing moments of the tournament will once again gather the AUBG crowd.
So far, the fans have seen plenty. A tally of 517 goals scored in 91 games played and an impressive 267 points distributed among teams make up only some of the stats that have turned the ABF Sports Hall into a vibrant venue for all participants and bystanders. By rule only the first 8 out of the 14 teams were to advance to the quarter-finals of the AUBG Soccer League.
After months of games O Zatep, with their collective performance, were able to grab the top spot, just two points ahead of Black Eagles, who, despite their second place, claimed the best defense. Third came the team of Black Jaguars, who were able to score a stunning average of 5.4 goals per match, thanks mainly to their two attacking players Ruzbe Asadullayev and Malick Sarr, who were able to score 25 and 21 goals respectively. From the Albanian side, Tirona VK ranked fourth with 29 points, shorty followed by BARnaSELOna (27 points), Dve rakii, molq! (24 points) and KocTeHyPkaTa NiNja (22 points). Last to qualify was the team Via.
After the end of the regular semester league, according to the fixture scheduling, four pairs of two teams were to play one versus the other. The first in the league, O Zatep played against the last to qualify – Via. The team in second place so far, Black Eagles, drew KocTeHyPkaTa NiNja, who came in 7th, while Black Jaguars had a tough nut to crack in the face of the almost entirely freshman team of Dve rakii, molq!. The last tie put Tirona VK versus BARnaSELOna, a clash that was expected to be the hardest to predict due to the two-point difference between the two in the league standings.
While O Zatep had an easy time beating Via with an aggregate score of 8 -3 and BARnaSELOna surprised with a demolition of Tirona VK, 6-0 being the final score in the first game (Tirona VK were later disqualified and thus eliminated before the rematch), Black Jaguars, thought to have secured their qualification after their first match 4-1 win against Dve rakii, molq! were close to feel the chill of a possible elimination after a 2-1 loss, where their counterpart were the dominant team throughout most of the second match. As with the Black Eagles vs. KocTeHyPkaTa NiNja kick-off, both teams scored two goals in each of the two matches to sum a 4-4 aggregate score. Right after the second game followed a penalty shootout as a game tiebraker of who was going to advance. Only a few minutes were needed for Black Eagles to secure the last place in the semi-finals beating the opponents 3-0 from the penalty spot.
Following last week’s first round of elimination, O Zatep vs. BARnaSELOna and Black Jaguars vs. Black Eagles are the two clashes to decide which of the four teams left will become the Fall 14 soccer champions of AUBG. Games resume today, starting with the BARnaSELOna vs. O Zatep match at 9:30 p.m., shortly followed by Black Eagles vs. Black Jaguars at 10:15 p.m. sharp. Rematches will be played two days from today, on Thursday.
As highlight will be placed on the teams’ skills of passing, ball control and their ability to outscore opposition teams, all could be decided in a split second. Every audience chant, a little dribble trick or even a slight misunderstanding between teammates– each could possibly make the difference. Which component of all will play the decisive role and who would ultimately emerge as the crowned soccer champion? We are about to see.