Solis, Makara 1, 2077, m249
Titans @ Dynamo
Titans Fall! Titans Fall!
Rare have those words been spoken this season.
And rare is the person who would’ve guessed it would be the inconsistent Dynamo that would knock the Titans off their mountain top.
And yet, here we are. In their 2nd game at Korolev Stadium, the Dynamo won their second game in a row with the season’s biggest upset, a 1-0 win over the Titans.
For the Titans, this spelled the end of their 12 game winning streak as their last loss was in Week 3 due to a phenomenal four goal effort from Uday Lanka and the Immortals.
One goal in the first minute was all it took to put the Titans to rest. Mariya Nikitovna intercepted a pass from defender Renatta Blundell and drilled a rising shot into the corner over goalkeeper Usian Busara for the first and only goal of the game.
After that first goal, the Dynamo quickly switched to a highly defensive 5-2-2-1 formation with five defenders, two defensive midfielders, two offensive midfielders and one clean striker.
This helped lull the Titans’ offence (and match spectators) to a slumber as notable forwards Readale Nash and Jube Terrell were neutralized all match.
New Dynamos goalkeeper, Boris Danilovich was also able to stop the few scoring chances that the Titans were able to muster.
After the match, Titans Captain Raenia Ware, who missed her 4th match in a row due to an ankle sprain, would not accept any excuses for the team’s loss.
“It doesn’t matter if we travelled almost 10,000 km to Korolev. Travel is part of the game and we travel well in our transport”, said Ware. “I’m also not buying the anxiety thing with the ongoing Chubarov outbreak. I know United was spooked last week but the league has assured us things are safe.”
Titans’ manager Paulo Salgado did not take the loss lightly.
“This is the wakeup call our team needs because upon further reflection, we’ve been lucky during Ware’s absence. We’ve only scored one goal in four weeks yet have won 3 out of 4 matches,” said Salgado. “All this success is making us soft - we have to pick up our offense or I don’t care how many games we’ve won this season – we’ll be vulnerable in the playoffs.”
Dong Ji @ Al’amal
In the aftermath of the Darkeem Dennis departure, Dong Ji spent all last week unsuccessfully deflecting discrimination charges fired from the media and fans.
And that carried onto the field as Dong Ji were unsuccessful in deflecting shots fired from Al’amal in a 2-0 loss to close out Week 16.
Al’amal opened up the scoring at the 8th minute with a right-footed curling finish from 20 yards over goal keeper Xue Su for a 1-0 lead.
That would be the difference maker but late in the match, at the 90th minute, Mussaddiq Baddour
Late in the match at the 90th minute, Al’amal Captain Musaddiq Baddour headed a volley just left of Xue Su for the 2nd goal of the match and his 5th of the season.
Al’amal climbs to a 9 and 6 record for the season with Dong Ji dropping to a 4 and 12 record – sole tenants in the MAFL basement.
Looking forward to Week 17:
The Titans look to rebound against league rival the Immortals @ Amrita stadium. Both teams are tied 1-1 in their season series. Will Ware return? Will Lanka put on another scoring showcase?
- The Dynamo will travel to Marineris and look to extend their winning streak to 3 games.
- Al’amal will be @ home to play the new but not yet improved United.
- The Battle for the Basement @ Huacheng sees Dong Ji and Wuji meet. Will anyone score?