Rebels vs. Top Dogs
One of the early bird game featured the Top Dogs going against the Rebels. The match was off to a late start due to a tardy arrival of the game’s referee (unofficial cause: he was seen unloading his entire stock portfolio in the parking lot outside of the Hangar). Despite the late start, neither side wasted any time getting sweaty. Rebels held the early advantage by way of advanced statistics, but were held off the scoresheet by a mix of all-Swedish-poor-finish and strong defending by the Top Dogs. Whilst both sides would have settled for a scoreless half, Top Dog’s Vic Cristiano would not have any of it. After receiving a crisp pass in the Rebels zone, he connected on a laser-beam into the far corner behind Brad Hughes. Top Dogs 1:0 at the half.
H2 saw a tight battle of speed and precision. Top Dogs had their chances via counterattacks, with several prime scoring opportunities left unexploited. Rebels had their chances as well, with Amogh and Zain buzzing around the Top Dogs’ net like bees. They finally solved the wall of Jeff Simsons part way through the half when Zain redirected a long pass from Vlad into the Top Dogs net. With both teams exchanging chances, it seemed almost inevitable that one side would wrestle away the victory in the dying seconds. The Rebels’ travelling fan base would not be disappointed when Zain got his second of the game with only seconds to spare to secure the Rebels victory. 2:1.
Scorpions vs Orange Crush
The Scorpions season started with a little bit of turmoil. Kick-off came promptly at 6 pm for most, but not for all. Leon and Jarry were nowhere to be seen. The Scorpions were wondering where they were but didn’t have time to figure it out. Orange Crush on the other hand, were not curious. The opening half was what one would expect from the season opener – both teams played conservatively and didn’t give up much to the other. It was eventful but not fruitful and they went into the half tied at 0-0.
The second half saw the game open up and it was Dillon Suresh who scored the first goal of the season for the Scorpions. In the last 5 minutes, 3 things happened: 1. Shahin scored 2. Dillon scored his second 3. Leon and Jarry showed up. They looked onto the field in stunned amazement at what they were witnessing – their team was playing but they weren’t on the field. Obviously, their late arrival helped give the Scorpions some more sting in their attack and they scored 2 late goals to make the final 3-0.
Bandits v Sharks
The Sharks were ferocious in this exciting encounter. Meanwhile, the Bandits entered the arena missing some key players, including their Captain Seamus Lynott. They were able to arrange a loan of Andrew Winnett, Captain of the Top Dogs, as well as borrowing Scorpions Jarry Ahmad and Leon Perelman. When the whistle sounded, the Sharks came out hungry and looking for blood. Led by Captain Theo Blanchard, they were sharp out of the gate and up a goal after half time.
In the second half, they continued to press, while the Bandits fought hard. Despite some good opportunities and excellent shots from John Di Re, they were unable to find a tying goal. New league keeper Brandon Graham stood tall for the Sharks, denying several opportunities for the Bandits. Meanwhile, the Sharks were able to find a second goal thanks to a nice 1-2 combination between Amanjol Zhangeldin and Mohammed Etleb which ended with Mohammed scoring past Prathesh.
Titans v Legacy
As temperatures were reaching record highs for October on opening night, TCL players were staying cool in the Hangar with their new threads. Titans sporting yellow versus Legacy featuring royal blue. This 7pm primetime matchup would not disappoint.
With two stingy keepers Bonner and Murat, you just knew goals would be few and far between. Titans on the offensive early, a quick pass from Calum McNeil split through the Legacy defenders to John Altinian had Kevin Bonner scrambling to make a tough save. On the other end, Vitali Tarnovski volleyed a rocket off the post. Both sides continued to battle hard but neither were playing for the draw. The lone goal in this match came late in the 2nd half with two minutes left. Tim Liu got the ball in his own half and went end to end shooting a missile through the legs of Bonner. A late push from Legacy almost tied it, but Murat continued his voodoo magic and kept the ball out with a force field. Titan 1 – 0 Legacy final score.