Category Archives: vs. Southeasterly

Amateur Soccer Leagues set for Thrilling Finales

By John Phillips
Taipei Times
Saturday, Mar 13, 2010

At least one of Taipei’s amateur soccer leagues will be decided tomorrow as Da-an face the Red Lions needing to win by at least three clear goals to snatch the Carnegies Premier League (CPL) title at 1pm at Taipei’s Dajia Riverside Park.

Across the city at Shilin’s Bai­ling Bridge at 4pm, expat team Taipei City can take a huge step toward clinching their second Businessman’s League (BML) trophy when they take on Sanchung High School.

In a bittersweet twist that is sure to leave many players questioning their loyalties, however, it turns out that the Taipei City squad is composed almost entirely of players who also play for Da-an and the Animals — the very team that Da-an will need to finish above if they’re to steal the CPL crown.

Da-an captain Alex Ramirez — who is also a City player — says the competition has always been good-natured and that “the rivalry is completely forgotten about once we don the Taipei City kit.”

The rivalry does have its downside though. Both leagues play on Sundays, which means players sometimes have to play two full games in a single day.

Ross Conlon, who manages Taipei City and plays for the Animals, says having the players competing against each other in the CPL has made it harder for City to be competitive.

“Toward the end of the season, both sets of players have been going all-out to win the CPL, so by the time they turn up to play for City they are already tired,” he said.
If Da-an do snatch the title, it will be an outcome few would have predicted. They have yet to occupy pole position. The current leaders, the Animals, have been on top since last summer, but the loss of some key players and a dip in form have left the door ajar for Da-an to win by the slightest of margins.

With the Animals having already completed all their games for the season, Da-an go into tomorrow’s game knowing that a victory by three goals would put them level on points and goal difference, but would see them crowned champions for their superior tally of goals scored.

In the BML, Taipei City face Sanchung High School knowing that three points would leave second-placed Fritz needing snookers to retain their title. City returned to action after the Chinese New Year break with 11-3 and 2-0 wins against the bottom two clubs Southeasterly and Dentway respectively.  Now with three games to go, City are nine points ahead of Fritz, who have a game in hand, and City’s goal difference is eight better, so a victory would mean they just need to avoid defeat in one of their last two games. Defeat could mean a big finish, with City and Fritz meeting on the final day.

City Take the Points in Weekend Double Header

Taipei City took six of a possible six points over the weekend with two wins in well-contested battles. Saturday saw the team face an old enemy, The Red Lions. The Lions, reinvigorated by the offseason’s most controversial signing Onur Dogan, looked lively up front and gave the City defence plenty to think about. The Turk scored two goals on the night, the second a fine finish on the turn and volley. However, his efforts alone weren’t enough to give this City side too much trouble, and they always managed to keep their noses in front of an otherwise ageing Lions’ side, running out eventual winners with a 4-2 scoreline with goals from Tim Murphy,  Alex Ramirez, Niklas Denser and Ebrima Njie.

Sunday’s game was a much cagier affair with Southeasterly content to sit back and try to catch Taipei City on the break. This tactic nullified City’s pace, and they were restricted to trying to thread short passes between Southeasterly’s tightly-meshed defensive unit. City failed to adjust their game sufficiently, and their final ball let them down time and time again. In the end, Southeasterly’s negativity became their own undoing as City eventually managed to put a couple of goals from Michael Christie and Danny Weir past the tiring opposition. With the score at 2-0, Southeasterly pulled a goal back, scoring from a penalty awarded for a dive in the box so obvious that even their players could see the funny side of it.

City added a third with the formidable Dan Calvert making  sure of the win and securing the six points they set out for over the weekend. Final score 3-1. The game was also a final farewell to Danny who was glad to get one final goal before he’s return to his native England, he’s exploits on both wings will be thoroughly missed.