San Olympus - Saturni, Makara 28, 2007, m249
In Greek mythology, it is said that the Titans came out of Chaos.
And yet it was Chaos that came out of the Titans as their battle with Al’amal unleashed bedlam at San Olympus field.
In an ugly, bittersweet 2 - 0 victory for Al’amal over the Titans, three Al’amal players went down to injuries thanks to a plethora of fouls committed by the Titans which led to three yellow cards and one red card.
As the players and managers left the field after the match, Al’amal manager Haajid Nasr confronted Titans manager Paulo Salgado that erupted into a skirmish involving managers and players. League officials, unequipped for such a scenario, spent 15 minutes separating everyone as this match ended in a rather ignominious fashion.
The normally calm and reserved Haajid Nasr was unable to participate in post-match interviews leaving Captain Mussadiq Baddour to field questions.
“They’ve already got a playoff spot so this match means nothing for them, yet they butcher three of our players who are now out while we fight for the playoffs”, said Baddour. “What’s wrong with the Titans?”
A lot is wrong with the Titans right now. Having dropped their 3rd match in a row and 4th in five matches, the Titans are looking very vulnerable.
And unapproachable, as the Titans refused post-match interviews.
The Titans did all their talking on the field, starting the conversation at the 10th minute of play, as Tia Shandu received a Yellow Card for roughing up Al’amal’s Arwa Farra as she dropped off a pass.
Farra responded a minute later with an outrageous chip over Titans goalkeeper Icilio De Sisto that dropped in off the underside of the crossbar, capturing her 7th goal of the season.
But the Titans response was to hit back.
At the 25th minute of play, the Titans Jube Terrell ran towards a loose ball which was retrieved by Farra but Terrell’s momentum plowed her into Farra who crashed hard to the ground.
Unable to rise, Farra was carted off the field with an injury that team officials say will now keep her out for at least the next 3 weeks. Hamad Fayad substituted in her place.
Terrell was firmly cautioned with a Yellow Card, yet the hits kept coming.
At the 40th minute of play, the Titans Bajen Avdi recklessly crashed into a streaking Fayad, taking him down. A new replacement was needed for Farra’s replacement, as Fayad was escorted off the field.
This time, a Red Card was issued to Avdi.
Yet despite this, the Titans kept hitting.
At the 57th minute, Tarik Lema Girma clipped Al’amal’s Birwant Rahar within the Titans’ penalty area as Rahar was streaking alone towards the Titans net.
Rahar crumbled to the ground.
For the Titans’ fourth crime, only a Yellow Card was given to Girma, much to the shock of Al’amal players.
A penalty shot was taken by Baddour, who delivered, putting Al’amal up 2 – 0.
And yet the Titans continued to hit until Al’amal finally hit back.
At the 65th minute, Al’amal’s Ikram Muhammad tackled Titans midfielder Ana Sofia Molina who dropped clinching her right leg, writhing in pain.
While Molina was carried off, Muhammad was escorted off with a red card, both captains quickly negotiated a ceasefire for the remainder of the match to end the body count.
The post-game brawl will likely cause many sleepless nights at MAFL headquarters as they sort out all the potential fines.
During post-match interviews, it was revealed Molina’s injury would likely mean the end of her season.
A visibly shaken Muhammad commented, “Look if a bully keeps hitting you, you have to eventually hit back. They were playing like a bunch of scared thugs, but I know that doesn't excuse my own actions.”
With the win, Al’amal moves up to 10 and 10 for the season keeping their playoff hopes alive. For the Titans, they continue to sink to new lows despite their league leading 15 and 5 record.