It’s Monday, embrace the suckitude!
We start with some World Cup matches, then feature our traditional Monday Relegation games. And Noob’s had fun delving deep into league scheds around the globe to make sure today is chock full of matchups involving teams about to get the Boot. Let us ogle and celebrate them!
Iceland vs. Slovenia – women’s World Cup qualification (UEFA)
Reminder: Seven Group of five. Only the top finisher in each automatically qualifies for World Cup. The top four in the #B finishers’ table will have a playoff for one final WC berth.
FIFA #19 Iceland trail Germany by just two points for 1st place, and they’ve played one less match. Czech Republic – six points behind Iceland – are the only other team that could still crack the top two. #62 Slovenia is eliminated, as are Faroe Islands. The latter have yet to score in this event and have given up 41 goals. Mommy.
Noobstradamus is back in action, prognosticating for YOU. Iceland 4-0 in an utter rout. Find your bookies, Noobites! Cash on the barrelhead.
RESULT: Iceland 2-0
When sports gambling is legal in every U.S. state, I’m winning a bazillion dollars, buying this website, and dancing around the flames I set to it.
B. Belgium vs. Costa Rica – friendly
Belgium is the third-ranked men’s national team in the world, a quiet dark horse to make a deep run at World Cup. They’ve kept four clean sheets in a row. But all their friendlies going back to October have been at home. And they have the occasional weird hiccup, like letting Bosnia & Herzegovina and Mexico score three times each.
#23 Costa Rica needs some success heading into Russia. They’re only wins in recent are against fairly-weak Scotland and Northern Ireland. Noob’s chosen them for his CONCACAF team for which to cheer. I more than suspect they will be gone after the Group Stage, leaving Noob a soccer-supporting, port-less boat in a storm. Or something. (2:45 PM Eastern, ESPN Deportes)
RESULT: Belgium 4-1
But Number B is the storm!
South Korea vs Senegal – friendly
#57 South Korea managed a home draw against Bolivia in their most recent friendly. Might be the last success they see in a while. Senegal is headed to Russia as well, but haven’t been testing themselves against very highly-ranked competition. They need to prove to themselves they can score against this weaker S.K. side, because they haven’t against much of anyone else.
RESULT: Senegal 2-0 Turns out the game was in Senegal
Smolevichy vs. Gorodeya – Belarus Premier
#27 of 55, a perfectly good, fine and average European league. We need to see more of them here.
Two of the 16 teams in this league will be Relegated. 10 matches into the season, there’s a five-way tie for last. Three of them are even tied on goal differential and these are two of them. Gorodeya occupies last place by virtue of some other tiebreaker, Smolevichy 14th.
RESULT: Smolevichy 2-0
Church of Jospeh, Haradzeya (home of FC Gorodeya)
pop. not much over 4,000.
Naft Matsan vs. Zakho – Iraq Premier
Iraq is considered to be just outside the top 10 of Asian leagues. Based on clubs’ performance in international matches, they’re likely to drop some next year.
Zakho are in last with six league matches to go, all but set to be demoted to second-tier Iraqi Division 1. Their plight is made worse by their having been docked three points in the table for a player-pay issue. No offense sure ain’t helping. Naft Matsan are in 11th.
Fun Fact: Zakho is believed to have been founded on a small island surrounded on all sides by the Little Khabur River.
Kedus Giorgis vs. Woldya Kenema – Ethiopia Premier
Three teams of these 16 will get The Boot after six more matches. Woldya are in last, yet only six points from daylight. But it’s #3 “Saint George” they’re visiting. Woldya doesn’t appear to have nearly the offense to climb out of trouble.
RESULT: St. George 3-1
Weldiya is in the Amhar region, where they claim to descend from the Biblical Solomon.
Qizilqum vs. Sogdiana – Uzbekistan Super League
Uzbekistan is a top-ten Asian league and climbing. These two likely haven’t been helping that cause, though, as they are 10th and 11th of the dozen league clubs.
Last year, five clubs were Relegated. This year, Noob’s sources are unclear on how many will go down, but they agree that there is some sort of Relegation Round for the bottom six. The season’s is not quite twelve games in, so they’re plenty of time for either to improve their place in the table.
Fun Fact: Sogdiana is named for the ancient Iranian civilization of that name.
RESULT: Qizilqum 2-0
Taraz vs. Kaspiy – Kazakhstan First Division
Here’s where we start to have to dig a little deeper in the world league scheds to find Relegation sadness to celebrate.
Like Belarus, the Kazakh top league is right in the middle strength-wise in Europe. Here, we delve into that country’s second division.
Just one team will get Relegated from this league, and so far that team looks to be Kaspiy. They and Aktobe Jas are well behind the pack. Kaspiy’s offense appears to be good enough to compete well enough with other lower-half league teams, but they carry the worst defense. #B Taraz can easily handle them on their own pitch.
RESULT: Taraz 4-0
Aktau (Kaspiy’s home city) doesn’t use street names, just three-number addresses.
Tallinna Kalev II vs. Flora II – Estonia Esiliiga
Oh Estonia, you make Noob swoon! Top division – Meisttrliiga. Second division – Esiliiga. Your double i’s shine like no diamond ever could.
Noob’s not sure about the visiting side here, but TK’s squad is an under-21 bunch. Currently they’re in 8th place. Whichever club finishes in that position will have to win a playoff against a third-division team for the right to stay up. Flora II is #B.
Fun Fact: Noob is and will always be enamored with ii. Just search the site to see my many odes to ii.
Varketili vs. Matchakhela – Georgia Liga III
Georgian third division footyball is back on the Track! Play your sad sack teams in Mondays, you get on Noob, plain and simple.
Not sure how many teams get booted out of this league annually, but the entire bottom half (ten) will participate in a Relegation Playout event. These two have little chance of climbing into the top half, what being in 18th and last, respectively. Varketili can’t play D, and that D is excellent compared to Matchkhela’s O.
So long from Tbilisi – “warm location” named for its sulfuric hot spring baths