Saturni, Capricornus 28, 2077, m249
Immortals @ Wuji
Week 16 was a new beginning for many teams as a busy transfer period came to a close with a number of teams making moves for their future.
For the Wuji, their future will be next season (and perhaps beyond) as they traded Defender Marysa Waaijer to the Marineris Comets for a pair of 19 year olds: Maurice O'neill, a Midfielder, and Khloe Mckay, a Defender.
And the absence of Waaijer forced the Wuji to play a more defensive 4-5-1 formation to adapt to the heavily favoured Immortals with a trapping focus on league leading scorer Uday Lanka.
And while the strategy did neutralize Lanka for the entire match, it opened up opportunities for other Immortals players to step up.
Such as defender Jag Parkar who stepped into a fine left-foot shot from outside the penalty area that curled away from Wuji goalkeeper Trenton Seaton and into the top corner for the 1st goal of the match at the 19th minute.
Enjoying his new found scoring touch, Parkar did his best Lanka impersonation with another goal at the 38th minute – this time stroking the ball low into the bottom corner for his 2nd goal of the match and season.
In the second half, Laurien Hagendoorn added another goal by sending an overhead kick into the net at the 71th minute for the 3rd and final goal of the match.
Immortals 3 Wuji 0.
Wuji moves to 5 and 11 for the season. The Immortals move to 9-7 with a chance to move into 2nd place overall in the league standings but that would depend on the outcome of Game 2 between the Comets and United.
Comets @ United
The Comets welcomed their newest member, Marysa Waaijer, hoping her balanced game would help halt their two game losing streak.
For United, this was hopefully the beginning of a new season with the acquisition of scoring talent Darkeem Dennis at forward and the move of goalkeeper Yvonne Barnato to the midfield.
And the early returns looked promising as United looked rejuvenated on offense to start the match. A Dennis cross was converted by Captain Lennard Fuchs with a superb volley into the top corner for the 1st goal of the match at the 8th minute.
And then something which seldom happened all season for United, happened! Lightning striking twice - as United scored a 2nd goal in a match, this just two minutes after their 1st goal.
Kaveri Khosla intercepted the ball from a failed clearance attempt by Comets goal keeper Zaida Agre, and curled a shot into the corner to give United a two goal advantage over a stunned Comets team.
United’s anemic offence had finally awoken and surely their league leading defense would protect a two goal lead. Or would they?
After the 2nd United goal, Comets manager Gordan J Pryce was seen visibly agitated, jumping up and down on the sidelines while communicating with his players.
When asked after the match about Pryce’s tirade, Comets Captain Liddell Bradley simply said, “He told us what we needed to hear.”
Which sparked a Comets charge at the 28th minute with Ellis Black receiving a pass from new teammate Waijjer and curling a shot over new United goalkeeper Kevin Sulzberger.
Half time allegedly brought more heated comments from Comets manager Pryce, which translated to a strong offensive beginning in the second half.
The Comets pressuring attacked rattled the new United goal keeper at the 71st minute as Sulzberger’s errant pass went to Susanna Shelton who connected with a flick just into the top corner for the tying goal of the match: 2-2.
Just 5 minutes later, Shelton received a pass from Waaijer and finished with a deft chip over Sulzberger to give the Comets a 3-2 lead.
At the 82nd minute, with his back to the goal, Yamen Warren loped his foot around his marker and scored with a fantastic backheel to give the Comets a 4-2 lead which was the final score.
United Coach Matthaus Reinmann commented on his team’s ironic reversal of fortune after the match, “So we finally learned how to score but somehow we’ve un-learned everything that made our defence so sound. We have to figure out the right balance soon because we don’t have much time left in the season”.
United’s former goalkeeper, Yvonne Barnato quickly left the locker room after the match refusing to comment on new goalkeeper Sulzberger’s performance and the team’s loss.
For United, they drop to 6 and 10 for the season while the Comets snap their two game losing streak and move to 10-6, hanging on to 2nd place in overall league standings.