With so many players out with the Cobra Flu, the Renegades had to play Loan List Roulette. Twice they pulled the trigger and twice they heard a re-assuring “click” by adding Alex Wong, John Altinian and newcomer Arsalan Noorafkan to their frontline. But it was the Cobra Kai who struck first when Raghav snuck behind the defender and calmly slotted home the ball.
The Renegades turned it around with two quick goals that were keyed by excellent runs by Captain Theo. However with Theo pressing forward that left another opening and this time Rogelio found himself alone with just the goalie to beat. And beat him he did.
In the 2nd half the Renegades once again responded with two more goals to go up 4-2 and seemingly had the game under control. But the Cobra Kai kept their poise. They knew they would get more chances. Besides, snakes are pretty smart… you can’t pull their leg. First Menemen Metin Guler found himself all alone in the box and buried his shot to make it 4-3. And Hamid finally found twine to tie it up at 4. From that point on no one managed to break the tie, especially Ivan.
Both the Barons and D-mentors were looking to rebound after a pair of tough losses the week prior. During warm ups, the Barons could be seen performing a keep away passing drill to get the blood flowing, while D-mentors opted for an energy saving approach.
The whistle blew on this tilt with a familiar face standing at centre for the D-Mentors. Sam Modarresi would no doubt be looking to make an impact early. D-mentors moved quickly to take control of the midfield and managed to earn a slick chance up the right wing. Scott Kamins cut to the middle and rifled a shot on net. Baron’s keeper Murat was able to just get a piece, deflecting the shot high. On the ensuing corner, Sam crossed the ball to the middle of the box destined for a waiting Alex Salcedo Who was quickly swarmed by Frank and Brian “not on our watch” they chuckled. Late in the first half, Seamus would not be denied, putting a beautiful volley in the air over the defender and smashing the shot home as it fell. Brilliant goal. 1-nill at half.
A scary moment in the second, the ball was deep in the D-mentors half, Vic tracking, Vlad was first to, and made a hard clearing attempt. Vic ate the ball in the worst way crumbling immediately. Everyone agreed it was the hardest shot they’d ever seen anyone take to the face. Vic would be okay. The match continued with a flurry of shots raining in from all sides. Christy and Burinski pulled a little tic-tac-toe and fired a shot with Murat making yet another brilliant save on route to a shutout. 1-0 final score.
The Primetime match saw 6th placed Spartans host 5th placed Clubber Lang in what many consider as a do-or-die match for the Spartans. The Spartans snatched former D-mentors ace John Altinian in hopes to end the club record losing streak (How was this transfer possible? The window closed 2 weeks ago! Was it the infamous fax machine delay?). To summarize the match in one sentence: “They saw, they came, and they conquered”. Who? Of course it was the Spartans (I know Caesar was Roman, minor details..).
From kickoff it was clear that this would be a tough game for Clubber Lang as they were missing their stars Andrew Winnett and Julio Araujo. There was some good news when Suleman Ibrahim rejoined the team after a 2 months absence rumored to have been caused by a training ground bust-up (truth was the missus needed him at home). The game started well for both teams, and then.. BAM! It’s 3-1 to the Spartans at half time. (“Well, that escalated quickly!” and I agree, but since the second half was more interesting I decided to cut this part of the report short.)
John Altinian drew first blood after the break by launching an unstoppable shot into the corner of the net to make it 4 -1. There is a famous saying that football is a game of 2 halves. That does not apply to Clubber Lang. For them, football is a game of 5 minutes (seriously, our stamina is so bad we barely last 5 mins). In the five minutes after John’s goal, Dan Newman and Alex Wong combined to score 3 times to tie the game at 4 – 4. The Spartans were visibly shocked when the game tying goal was scored. Luckily for the Spartans, just like Cinderella’s time running out at midnight, Clubber Lang’s five minutes ran out after the 4th goal. The rest of the game involved Clubber Lang having 2-3 players man marking JJ (to no avail), while John Altinian and the rest of the Spartans ran circles around the keeper and what’s left of the Langs. The Spartans put so many goals past the Lang’s that everyone lost count. Final score was either 8-4 or 7-4 to the Spartans.
ps. This new combo of JJ&J is legit… watch out for it.