’10 to Track’ soccer matches for Globetrotting Friday! From Liga MX to goodness knows where

TGIGF!   The day of the week where Noob starts with a match or three from more familiar locales, then we jetset off to footyball parts less-heralded!

Noob’s a touch tardy getting today’s T2T posted.  Apologies.  I slept most of 22 straight hours with almost 105 fever.  But I’m on the mend, and so let’s travel!  Noob will ride in the back of the plane while Noobites enjoy first class.   No point risking contagion more than need be.

  1. Morelia vs. Veracruz – Liga MX

Morelia is in 5th.  Veracruz is nearly in last.  Not surprising.  They’ve been in position to be the team that gets Relegated for some time.  But we will cheer them on today, Noobites!

Remember Noob’s maxim– never, ever pull for a team that claims to be royalty.  We have nonesuch in North America, and we like it that way!  Morelia are the Monarcas.   (8:00 PM Eastern, Univision Deportes)

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Oooooh, crap on a cracker.

Noob may have said too much.

B.  Bangor City vs. Bala Town – Welsh Premier

While not quite as dominant as last season, T.N.S. are all but officially the league champs.  What’s left to determine is which team will finish #B and get the automatic Europa League invite, versus several other teams which will play a postseason tournament to decide which gets the other one.

If you ask Noob – and you really shouldn’t, I mean, have you been reading this weirdness for any length of time? – Bangor City will wreck Bala Town.  Based on GD, two-points-back Bala is more like an 8th-place side.  Maybe they win close, are tough and gritty.  But I think 4th-place Connah’s Quay have a better chance of making the move.

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The Welsh alphabet is weird.  but Number B makes everything okay.

  1. Dundalk vs. Cork City – Irish Premier

Ireland’s is a “summer league”, and so just getting started.  These two finished Bth and 3rd respectively last year.

Fun Fact:  The city of Dundalk is tied to the mythological hero Cú Chulainn.  In battle frenzy, he was written to become a monster, attacking friends and enemies alike.

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No, Noob did not add the cute little censoring square.

  1. Nasaf vs. Buxoro – Uzebekistan Superleague

This is one of Asia’s ten best leagues, and they, too, are just getting started.  These two finished #B and #6 last year.  Noobites will be more likely to know league powerhouse Lokomotiv Tashkent.

Fun fact:  Only about 10% of the Region’s (state) population lives in Qarshi, where Nasaf plays.   The vast majority live in rural areas.

  1. Esteghlal Khuzestan vs. Kooneh Be Kooneh – Iran Hazfi (FA) Cup

Persian Minnow Alert!   Not that KBK winning would be an upset of epic proportions.  E.K. is nearish the bottom of the table in the top league, while the visitors are #B in the second tier.  This is a Semfinal, and it’s one match only.

Fun Fact:   Kooneh Be Kooneh is the most delicious coffee in the world.

The Management would like to apologize for Noob’s antics.  Noober, you might be thinking of Kona coffee?  From Hawai’i?   Persian coffee beans isn’t really a big industry.

Kooneh coffee beans are best when roasted young.  They give a hearty flavor, though are not so distinctly bitter as Turkish drinks.


  1. AmaZulu vs. Ubuntu Cape Town – South Africa Nedbank (FA) Cup

This is South Africa’s FA Cup, and like the English version, they allow lots of teams from many lower levels to compete.  This is a Round of 16 one-off match.  AmaZulu is a midtable premier team, while UCT is last place in the second tier.

Fun Fact:  Ubuntu is the most delicious computer operating system in the world.

The Management would like to… okay, fine.  Well-played.   Asshat.

  1. Masavu vs. Bright Stars – Uganda Super League

Uganda’s top league doesn’t appear to even be in the top 16 in Africa, based admittedly on just one CAF source Noob found.  But we’re going, Noobites!  With our devotion and support, they can… oh bloody hell.   They’re just not good.

Masavu are in the Relegation Zone, looking likely to get dropped down to the Uganda Big League.  They’d be doing well just to get a draw against mid-table Bright Stars.

Fun Fact:  Masavu’s crest looks like an early 80’s southern rock album cover.

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  1. Al Nawair vs. Al Ittihad – Syria Premier

Syria’s is only the #16-ranked league in Asia, so they only get one entry into the AFC Champions League.  Al-Ittihad is tied for #B, and only two points behind Al Jaish.  This could be an entertaining, wide open game to watch if it’s findable on some internet stream.  They can’t defend and score tons respectively.

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Is that a ferris wheel?

  1. Energetik vs. Balkan – Turkmenistan Yokary Liga

Not sure why Noob had a thought on it, but I’m surprised this league is as high as #26 of 46 Asian national premier leagues.  Apologies, Turkmenistan.   The new season is just starting.  These two were #6 and #4 last year.

Fun fact:  According to one Christian subgroup – the Keraites – Jesus’ mother Mary is buried in her namesake town of Mary (Energetik’s home).

  1. Orara Valley vs. Boambee Bombers – Australia FFA Cup

This is the second round of Australia’s F(F)A Cup.  Would we care about teams from Northern New South Wales’ seven leagues any other day of week?  Perhaps not.  But it’s globetrotting Friday!  Both teams received byes into this round, so it’s their first Cup action.

Fun Fact:  This group was founded all the way back in 1884.

10 to Track for Christmas – Relegation Monday!

You’d better watch out, and crying is optional – Santa Noob has come to town!   Just because most of the Western world is off from footyball, that doesn’t mean there aren’t games for us to Track.

Relegation Monday!  Our celebration of teams that might get demoted out of their current leagues by season’s ends.  Let’s get to know them before they are Dropped into soccer oblivion.

As always, we first start with some games of import that aren’t Relegation-related.

  1. U.A.E. vs. Saudi Arabia – Arabian Gulf Gup

Reminder:   This event is seven Gulf national teams, plus Yemen.  Two Groups of four, top two finishers advance from each.

These two each won their first match.  No surprise, given they are the most highly FIFA-ranked teams in this tournament (#73 and #63 respectively).  It’s likely both will advance out of the Group, but finishing 1st versus 2nd probably matters for the next round’s seeding.

RESULT:   0-0

B.  Kuwait vs. Oman – Arabian Gulf Cup

#189 and #101.  Oman should have the better shot at passing one of the above two should slip up.

RESULT:   Oman   0-1

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Giant soccer ball slip and slide.

Noob doesn’t get it.  But Noob doesn’t need to.

  1. Jordan vs. Libya – international friendly

Nothing directly at stake in this one.  But on 12/25, this is where the footyball is being played.  We track with joy!

RESULT:   1-1

  1. Southern District vs. Eastern – Hong Kong Senior Shield

This is Hong Kong’s FA Cup, though it’s just teams from their Premier League.  These are the league’s 5th and 6th place teams presently.  This is a Semifinal.  The winner will face off against league 9th-place club Yuen Long.

RESULT:   Eastern   0-1

Image result for football southern district hong kong   Image result for football southern district hong kong

  1. Al-Shorta vs. Naft Al-Wasat – Iraqi Premier

They’re only a few games into this league’s season, but Al-Shorta is one of three still undefeated.  The Al-Wasat “Euphrates Nightingales” are in 5th.

RESULT:     ppd

  1. Karbalaa vs. Amanat Baghdad – Iraqi Premier

Welcome to Relegation Monday, Karbalaa!   Noob has a feeling we’ll be seeing you again.   0-0-6.  One goal scored in those matches.  Given up 16.   Yep, we’re going to be best friends.  Amanat is in 7th.

Fun(?) fact:  According to Shi’ites, the translation of the city name Karbalaa is “land which will cause many agonies” and “afflictions”.

RESULT:     ppd

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How far does the price on even a mansion get knocked down in the City of Agonies and Affliction?

  1. Naft Al-Janoob vs. Al-Sinaat Al-Kahrabaiya – Iraqi Premier

JaNOOB!    Adopted!  We have an Iraqi fave.

This league demotes two clubs to Division One annually.  Al-Sinaat sits in the second-to-last position.  They have a more favorable matchup today than their Relegation Zone playmates above though.  Al-Janoob is in just 15th.

Fun fact:  Al-Sinaat is owned by the Ministry of Industry and Minerals.

RESULT:      ppd

  1. El Geish vs. Al-Ittihad Al-Sakandary – Egypt Premier

The Egyptian Premier League Relegates three sides at each season’s end to the Second Division.  Due to being on the wrong side of a tiebreaker, Ittihad is on top of the trio staring at the Drop.  El Geish is in 12th place.

Fun fact:   Ittihad plays in the Alexandra area.  The stadium is named after the town, Borg el-Arab, which seats 86,000.

RESULT:   o-o

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1)  86,000 fans would disagree.

2)  Strangely, this actress is more attractive as a Klingon than out of costume.

  1. Hapoel Be’er Sheva vs. Macabbi Haifa – Israeli Premier

The top six in this league play a postseason championship.  The bottom eight will all play in a Relegation-avoidance tournament at season’s end.

More points separate 6th and 7th place in the table than between 1st and 6th.  The difference between the two groups is much more pronounced on offense than defense.  M.H. will need to score early and often against 2nd-place Be’er to have a shot.

Fun fact:   It would really be something if M.H. were to be Relegated.  The “Green Locomotive” are one of the historical four powerhouses in Israeli football.

RESULT:   HBS   2-0

  1. Hapoel Katamon Jerusalem vs. Hapoel Ramat Gan – Israeli Liga Leumit

Noob saw there was a little room left at the top of your Christmas stocking, correctly deduced could squeeze in a second-tier league match.  And yes, I realize that mixing a Christmas reference with Israeli football is odd.   Read the archives, Noobites.   Stick around a while.  This won’t budge the weird needle.

This league has 16 clubs which will split evenly after the regular season into Promotion and Relegation playoffs.  Ramat Gan are in 12th, courtesy of not being able to find the back of the net much.   3rd-place Katamon sports the league’s best defense.

Fun fact:  Ramat Gan is a city east of Tel Aviv, and is where the club plays.   But the full, official name of the club includes another area city – Givatayim.

RESULT:   Ramat Gan   0-1      It’s an Xmas miracle… sort of? in Israel!   Ramat Gan pulls the upset.

Image result for Jewish Christmas stocking funny