T2T consistently filters for and brings to you the ten finest games worth Tracking. Drink them in.
Fridays, the leagues we – the newish North American soccer fans – lean towards most are a bit lighter in their schedules. Do we then laze about? No. We pack our bags and Trot the Globe! Let’s get our fun and learning on.
The New Saints vs. Connah’s Quay – Welsh Premier
Hello, Wales, how do? We haven’t seen a match involving two teams in the top three of your ten in what feels like ages.
Defending champions T.N.S. are in 1st again, while CQ are tied for 3rd with Bangor City. Only one team gets a slot in next year’s Champions League, and it’s up for grabs. These teams are just two points apart in the table.
Fun fact: They play games in Oswestry – which is in England! But they also still officially represent their former home of Llansantffraid, Wales, just eight miles away.
B. Dunav Ruse vs. Levski Sofia – Bulgaria FA Cup
For this nation’s national championship Cup, all “registered” teams get to take part. This refers to the amateur third and fourth tier leagues, as well as the professional top two. All Rounds are single elimination matches (except the Semis).
This event is in the Quarterfinals stage. “The Dragons” were fortunate to get drawn to play at home. After finishing 4th last year in the First League (tier one), they’re down in 13th now. Levski Sofia is in 3rd, which is no surprise. The teams based in Sofia dominate.
RESULT: Levski Sofia 0-2
Dan the Intern-o Inferno, why aren’t you doing your job??
Noob image-Googled “Sofia domination” without you to stop him. I can’t un-see some things…
Sumgayit vs. Qarabag – Azerbaijan FA Cup
This one only has teams from the top two divisions playing. This event just isn’t as popular there as FA Cups are in so many countries. But if you’ve been joining Noob for any length of time, Qarabag is a club name you know. They own soccer here, regularly get berthed into Champions League.
This Round is the Quarterfinals, and the matchups here are two-legged ties, meaning the clubs face each other home and way to determine which advances. Premier League 4th-place Sumgayit lost the first match 1-2, but have at least a puncher’s chance at home now.
Fun “Fact”: The city of Sumgayit is said to be named for a hero named “Sum”. He defeated a monster blocking the river, but was swept away. His lady love would cry at the river shouting “Sum qayit!”, meaning, “Sum, come back!”
RESULT: Sumgayit 2-0 And the hosts are through to the Semfinals on a comeback upset! They win 3-2 on aggregate
Den Bosch vs. Fortuna Sittard – Dutch Eerste Divisie
2nd place hosts 5th in the Netherlands’ second tier league. The top team gets promoted to the Eredivisie at season’s end. A mess of others will compete in a postseason playoff for the same right. Sittard is just a point out of 1st.
Not-so-Fun Fact: The governing body in the Netherlands revoked Sittard’s license to play several years ago. That decision was revoked in court, and their financial woes have been relatively on the mend since.
RESULT: Sittard 2-4 Sittard into 1st! Den Bosch slips to 8th.
Or because our parent organization tries to make us stop playing.
Sydney vs. Melbourne City – Australia A-League
Powerhouse Sydney is second-best in scoring in this league, and the only team allowing less than one goal over game on average. They haven’t run away with the league yet this year, but things are trending that way. 3rd-place Melbourne’s more realistic goal than winning this game is catching 2nd-place Newcastle for the league’s other AFC Champions League slot next year.
Fun Fact: Sydney’s biggest fan support group is “The Cove”, referencing the original name of the colonial settlement, “Sydney Cove”.
RESULT: Sydney 3-1
JS Saoura vs. MC Alger – Algeria Ligue 1
Algeria’s top league sends to teams to CAF (Africa) Champions League. “The Eagles” have that second spot now. MC Algers isn’t far back at 4th place, and these two look about statistically identical.
Noob likes him some Eagles. ‘Muricuh!
But can’t they get each one its own ball?
Uganda vs. Zanzibar – CECAFA Cup
We haven’t visited this event in a week or so, so let’s review and catch up. CECAFA is an association of eastern and central African teams. Many of them play in this event, plus they invite whomever they want. Nine teams were competing in this year’s tournament. The Group Stage is done, so we’re into the Semifinals now.
Uganda won their Group, and so get to host this elimination match. Zanizbar finished 2nd in theirs. The winner will face Kenya in the Final, which defeated Burundi to get there.
RESULT: Zanzibar 1-2 And they’re in the Final!
Baadraan Tehran vs. Persepolis – Hazfi Cup (Iran)
The top two leagues’ teams compete for Iran’s FA Cup championship. Unlike many other national league, the winner of this one will earn a slot in their continental federation’s Champions League.
Baadraan is part of Iran’s second-tier league, the Azadegan League. They’re in 2nd there, seem likely to be promoted. But this is top-flight #1 Persepolis paying a visit.
RESULT: Persepolis 1-2
Fun Fact: Sponsoring company Baadraan Gostar appears to be an online seller of bath, beauty and textile products. We’d know more, but Dan the Intern-o Inferno has been shirking his duties, instead making this:
Fiji vs. New Caledonia – Pacific Mini Games
The event name doesn’t seem to need much explanation. Tiny Pacific nation countries playing lots of sports. Six nations’ teams are competing in the men’s football. The format is a single round-robin, and they’re playing the final games now.
Which teams will get the gold, silver and bronze medals is already decided. It’s just a question of what order those top three will come in. Fiji is in 3rd, two points behind the leaders. But they only have one route to the gold medal. They need to win, and the below game to end in a draw.
RESULT: Fiji 4-1 Good for the silver! Because…
Vanuatu vs. Solomon Islands – Pacific Mini Games
Because here are the top two in the medal table! Solomon Islands are the more accomplished side. In fact, they have yet to allow a goal! But this whole deelio is being played in Vanuatu. They’ve been scoring more than four goals per contest.
RESULT: Vanuatu 3-2 Vanuatu gets the gold! Solomon Islands get the bronze.
Four goals? So outlandish, Dean Cain is pushing to revive the TV series.
(He needs the work.)