We’re back in East Asia again and there’s plenty to report on this week too. Let’s have a look shall we?
Chinese Taipei with close fought battle at the top
Since last time every team has played and we start with the midweek game between TSU in third and Taipower in first. TSU took a 2-0 lead in the first half but Taipower staged a great comeback scoring twice within the last five minutes of the match to secure a point with a 2-2 draw.
On Sunday bottom of the league NSTC lost 4-1 to Taicheng Lions while Tainan City beat Royal Blues 1-0. HangYuen had the opportunity to go top of the league with a win over Tatung after Taipower’s stumble earlier in the week but completely folded like a house of cards in a gentle breeze and lost 6-2 to Tatung who with that jumped HangYuen and sit second in the league only one point off the lead, despite only having played three matches, two less than Taipower at the top.
Football’s back in Guam
Still no sight or word about the missing matches from last week’s update, and trust me, I’ve checked. But this week I’m delighted to announce that we have some results to tell you about, not from all the matches that were played, or at least supposed to be played, however as that cannot be found. I have no idea if the missing games went ahead or not but if the results do pop up I will update this space.
So let’s check the results from three of the six games this weekend. Mid-table Bombers SC played University of Guam Tritons who were looking to close the gap to Isla de Ladrones at the top. That they managed with a snatch-and-grab 2-0 win and they have jumped up to third place in the table. Second-placed Islanders FC played EuroCar FC and came out very convincing winners with 6-0 in the bag, and it could have been more with their 17 shots on target it’s safe to say the EuroCar goalkeeper had a busy afternoon.
And finally bottom of the table Crushers FC, who had only one win from their first 13 games before this, were hoping to do better against mid-table Bombers SC but it was not to be. Crushers took an early lead in the second minute, but two effective minutes from the Bombers saw them gain the upper hand as they struck back in the ninth and 11th minute. From there on out it was only one team on the pitch and Bombers ran out 6-1 winners.
One game to go in Hong Kong as cup action take the driver’s seat
One game. That’s all Kitchee need. One game to go unbeaten the entire league season. This weekend there were no games in the league because of the Hong Kong FA Cup where Kitchee were in the semi final against second in the league Pegasus. Kitchee won 4-1 and will face Wofoo Tai Po in the final.
Plenty of action in Japan
Since last time there’s been stuff happening all over the place in Japan’s J-League. First up, Sagan Tosu lost 2-1 in the midweek game against Consadole Sapporo. Then on Saturday Sapporo won again, this time beating Gamba Osaka 2-0. Kashiwa Reysol continued their disappointing start to the season with a loss to Jubilo Iwata, while Kawasaki Frontale failed to beat Tokyo and leapfrog their opponent.
Cerezo Osaka kept up with the other top teams by beating V-Varen Nagasaki while Kashima Antlers sent Urawa Reds further down the table with a 1-0 win and Nagoya Grampus continue to claw their way back bit by bit as another draw was recorded against Yokohama F. Marinos.
On Sunday, Sagan Tosu finally won a game of football again as they beat Shimizu S-Pulse. Vegalta Sendai did the same as they beat Shonan Bellmare and finally, league leaders Sanfrecce Hiroshima beat Andres Iniesta’s new club Vissel Kobe 2-0.
Blowouts in Macau
In the Liga de Elite in Macau there were some tight contests and some proper beatings during the weekend. League champion and potential invincible side Benfica hammered Lai Chi 8-0 on Sunday while on Saturday MUST CPK beat HS 10-0(!). As for the somewhat tighter contested matches Sporting beat Alfandega 2-0, officially relegating them, while Monte Carlo beat Policia 1-0, securing second place, and Ching Fung and Tak Chun Ka I drew 2-2.
The interesting thing now going into the final weekend this week is if Benfica can keep their unbeatable, and 100% win record, intact and who takes third place of Sporting and Cheng Fung. One point separates the two and they both have beatable opponents on the final day.
Newly promoted sides struggle in Mongolia
It won’t be an 100% win season in Mongolia this year as every team has dropped points at some point and it’s worst for the newly promoted sides as they are the two sides at the bottom of the table with no wins after two games. Gepro are the only team yet to score a point as they lost 3-0 to Selenge Press, while Arvis lost to Atheltic 220 who have taken the lead.
Elsewhere Ulaanbaatar FC beat Deren 1-0 on Friday, city-rivals Ulaanbaatar City drew 0-0 with Erchim and on Sunday Anduud City beat Khangarid 1-0.
Frustrating North Korea
It’s really not easy to find results from the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. I’m really trying, I swear. Wanna know how hard it is? FIFA doesn’t even have a page for the North Korean league on their website, I think that’s the only one they don’t have on there. How are we supposed to find results when the governing body can’t do it. But I will continue my search and hopefully one day, there will be something other than words that say the same thing week in and week out.
Winners lose as MP United continue unbeaten run on the Northern Mariana Islands
The M-League is into it’s final stages before the playoffs and MP United beat Okadaya 4-1 to as good as secure top spot in the league.
The Northern Mariana Islands U16 Men’s National Team, the Teen Ayuyus as they are known in the league table, won 3-2 over rock-bottom Kanoa while Winners & Pacific had to forfeit their match against Paire which means they recorded a 3-0 loss for that. Now the leagues will take a break this upcoming weekend, and for a very noble reason. It’s Mother’s Day on the Northern Mariana Islands next weekend.
Speaking of women. Let’s check in on the U16 Women’s National Team that play in the second tier of the men’s pyramid, you didn’t think I’d forget now did you? They had a hard day out on the pitch against second in the league Matansa and lost heavily by eight goals to none. Next week they play top of the league KFAS in another tough test.