Week 13 saw a conclusive match spell out for the supporters around the league: who is most likely to be the champion of the inaugural ESPL season? Only two matches saw definitive results, but every club in the league saw at least one score.
The first match saw Vulcan FC host Sporting Black Cats, both clubs scoring a single goal with Vulcan’s Muleaki A’anhi scoring the first one and Sporting’s Victor Khrushchev scoring the equalizer. There were yellow cards handed out, and a second yellow to Vulcan’s Fuji Takei should have happened but he managed to skate out with a free kick before immediately being subbed out.
The second match saw Shamrock Celtic host Shazam CM in a disappointing draw for both sides. With both clubs trying to get a leg up in the table, neither side could get a foothold in as each got only one goal into the net. Celtic’s sole scorer was Thor Skjelstad and Shazam’s sole scorer was team captain Taoufik Belbani.
“We push and push and just seem to get nowhere,” said Thor Skjelstad. “Patrick coming back was supposed to blow this club through the roof and all of a sudden neither he nor Arak can get a drip of fortune. Until we figure out what the problem is, we aren’t really going to be going anywhere anytime soon. There’s always next week, though.”
The third match saw Wordsmiths host Allen FC, where both clubs fell prey to a draw and a single score a piece. Wordsmiths’ sole scorer was Wonk O’Riley early in the match and Allen’s sole scorer was team captain Charles Alexander scored the equalizer late in the second half.
The fourth match saw Knightsquare host Halo in one of two definitive results for the week. Knightsquare once again tried to end the match early by putting through all three of their goals in, scored by Friedrich Gunther, Franz Volstag, and Nico Capella. One of Halo’s goals came in the first half, scored by Ravi Garcon, but the other three goals came from Jonathan Lucke and two by Andrei Ramius.
“What are we doing wrong?” asked Alan Marquardt, team captain of Knightsquare. “We don’t have a win, we put up big numbers early and fight the whole match but we can’t break through and get a victory. This is frustrating, to say the least.”
The fifth match saw the final draw of the week when Naval Armada hosted Real Olympia. Real’s only score came in the first half when Dieter Gerhardt put one in right before the whistle. Naval’s only score came from Vance Alexander almost right out of the half. Khan Galaxy was being keyed on by the officials and was subbed out early in the second half when he garnered his only yellow card. Team officials were worried that with his method of play during the first half that they were going to lose him for the next couple of games, so the sub was decided.
The spotlight match of the week was the one we’ve all been waiting for as Gothica hosted Emerald United in what we’ve been calling “the game to determine the first champions.” Emerald United scored first blood when team captain Trent Areonak put one in halfway through the first half. Gothica’s Donovan Righte equalized right at the end of the first half, then scored his second near the end of the second.
“There is still a lot of season left,” said Trent Areonak. “We can certainly rebound.”
“I’m looking forward to running the table on the rest of the league,” said Simon Tarken, Gothica’s team captain. “We’ve got a strong lineup and we’ve got a large enough lead that we can capitalize on for the rest of the season. I think we can hold on.”
Week 13 was full of excitement but we’ll see if things get shaken up next week as there are less than 10 weeks left in the season!