Vilitan League Season 11
First Half Report
The 11th Vilitan Season kicked off with the Annual Tropical Trophy match. League Champions Yeaddin Owls AFC squared off against Strike FC, league runners up. It was the Owls who came out flying, with Turori's Malaino Mumamba and Vilitan prospect Antonis Siazzu putting the Owls 2 goals up within 15 minutes. Former Strike FC starlet Inaki Soler then added a 3rd for Yeaddin who looked comfortable going into the break. Strike made a double swap less than an hour in in hopes of sparking something and getting back in the game, but their concellation goal did not come until the 87th minute after a classic cross by Santo Kecker. Eauzian goalkeeper Michel Rousoi handed Yeaddin the clincher in injury time after failing to deal with Jan Christiansen's effort, leaving it for the potent Riccardo Appolloni to tuck away.
Strike FC signalled their intentions to make a run for their first ever Stellar Division title by running away with 3 points at Makosile to open the season. Santo Kecker was brutally displaced in the penalty area just 5 minutes into the match and had to be replaced, but that did not stop Strike from scoring twice in the opening 10 minutes. Leading 4-0 before half time, Strike closed out a 5-0 win in stoppage time to take the early lead atop the table. There placement was aided by the biggest opening day clash in recent history, with goals from Antonis Siazzu and Carmine Mbidzo cancelling each other out in a 1-1 draw between megoliths Yeaddin Owls AFC and Marine Coast United.
Strike's first bump came against a very surprising Inland Peaks side. Inland Peaks, who were one of the original members of the Stellar Division, but quickly dropped out of the league system, were riding the back of successive promotions and a return to the Stellar. After defeat at Cednia Beach, the Peaks upset Turoki Isle before earning a very impressive draw at Strike FC to sit behind Strike and Yeaddin Owls in the table early on. Strike had to come from behind to beat Marine Coast United 3-1 and maintain their position atop the table on goal difference after 6 weeks, until a draw with Arcticala Inlet coupled with Yeaddin's halting of Inland Peaks momentum saw the Owls return to the top of the table.
The two leaders finally met in week 9, and the Owls looked to take control at The Shultis with a 2-0 halftime lead. However, Strike got one back just after the interval, and Santo Kecker converted from the penalty spot to keep Strike in the hunt for the title. Marine Coast United were having trouble keeping up, with draws against Arcticala Inlet, Tivali City, Turoki Isle and Inland Peaks pushing them to 5th in the table 10 games in. Yutzie Sorma were obviously struggling without a single victory and just 3 points at the bottom of the table.
Winless Yutzie Sorma battled Strike FC to a shocking draw at The Shultis, sending Strike into a downturn that saw defeat at Colonial Sile, Jonathan Havell saving all 17 Strike FC shots, letting in only Umberto Melli's 52nd minute penalty in the 2-1 win. The Owls remained unbeaten atop the table. Halfway through the season, Arcticala Inlet were holding strong with Marine Coast United behind Yeaddin and Strike FC in the table. Kionao Locals and Tivali City led the battle for 5th place which saw 7 teams within 6 points. Winless Yutzie Sorma solidly occupied the bottom of the table on 5 points, while Makosile and Irougil were fighting to avoid the 2nd relegation spot.
TRANSFER WINDOW MOVES
As the Vilitan Transfer Window opened, so did the checkbooks.. Domestically, Strike FC's David Leacock left Strike FC for the second time to join Yeaddin Owls AFC, While contract rebel Jonathon Stott finally resigned with Arcticala Inlet. 18 Year Old Manolis Makunike made the jump to the Stellar Division, signing for Kionao Locals from Lopinka. Marine Coast finally signalled their intentions to challenge by signing rising Defensive Midfielder Cristian Sanou from Jurgen Ramzi's Declasse-Leading Jlinal Cove FC. Many teames decided to look Inter-Nationstatally for help, with a record number of foreign players coming in to the Vilitan League. Turoki Isle, traditional under-achievers with a history of looking overseas for talent made 3 moves. First, fending off interest from Bedistan, the Islanders secured the signature of ambitious Giant Zucchini goalkeeper Shelton from Maurauding FC. The Islanders then moved to Bedistan to swoop for youthful Striker Alejandro Vantrease from Jamaica Giants. In a final move, Henrik Bastale became the first Sarzonian import in the Vilitan League. Cednia Beach AFC spent their NS Champions League earnings to rebuild their dying squad, Signing Melmonds Loala Saenu, Cockbill Street's Rhianna Peters and Starblaydi midfielder Stelios Doukas.
The Declasse Division also saw an influx of foreign talent, with Starblaydi hero Simeone Di Bradini being named coach of Kiiarana and brining Starblaydi prospects Gbenga Ogunniya and Syku Lyku-Agbayani with him. Lonngeylin City added a pair of Under-21 players, Lethislavania's Vorrece Peltier and Eagle's Nest player Aman Dedur.
Second Half Report
As the league resumed, it was once again the clash between Marine Coast United and the Yeaddin Owls AFC that took headlines. Once again, the match dissapointed with a classic 1-1 draw, the 3rd consecutive between the teams in the league. Yutzie Sorma picked up their first victory at the hands of 3rd placed Arcticala Inlet, scoring twice after Jimmy Kater was sent off in the 73rd minute.
Both leaders well held in Week 15 as new-look Turoki Isle saw goals from Henrik Bastale, Maurizio Sala and Minu Borvel to earn a draw with Strike FC, while Yeaddin Owls were held by Arcticala Inlet, who scored in stoppage time to claim a point against the league leaders. Strike were held again by a second consecutive 3-3 scoreline after Michel Rousoi was sent off just 15 minutes in, while both Yeaddin Owls AFC and Marine Coast United registered victories in Week 16 tightening the race for 2nd place.
Yeaddin Owls unbeaten run was ended at 47 matches in all competitions as Colonial Sile got coals from Cain Side and Arthin Oaker to relegate the leaders to a 2-1 defeat. Strike FC had to do without Rousoi in the crucial match against Marine Coast, and it cost them dearly, despite taking a 2-1 lead into half time, United struck late to take the 3-2 win and second place in the standings. Marine Coast could not capitalize on their success however, losing to Arcticala Inlet in week 19, propelling the Inletters to 2nd in the table, 1 point ahead of United and a further point seperating them from Strike FC who lost a second consecutive decision to Kionao Locals with 7 matches to play. Colonial Sile, Tivali City and surprising Inland Peaks were level on 27 points in the battle for 5th place.
Inland Peaks took a solid hold on the 5th position in front of the National Spotlight, netting two stoppage time miracle's from Niccolo Mazzeo and Crystilakere World Cup winner Noel Adiguzel to propel them over League Leading Yeaddin Owls, opening the door for Arcticala Inlet, Marine Coast and Strike FC to all close within 9 points with 5 matches to play. Arcticala Inlet held 2nd place via a single Goal Differential, with Arcticala having given up 28 goals, and Marine Coast and Strike FC both having conceded 29, while on 40 goals scored.
The Owls all-but wrapped up the championship with 3 games left to play, defeating Strike FC 3-1 at the Lirai Asku Castle. A pair of victories for Arcticala Inlet saw them take some breathing room into 2nd place, 8 points behind the leaders. Turoki Isle continued their climb up the charts that saw them into 6th place after a 1-1 draw with Marine Coast United. With 10 Draws A piece, Irougil and Yutzie Sorma were all but relegated, facing each other before matched with Yeaddin Owls AFC and Marine Coast United respectively to finish the season.
The Owls were crowned champions for the 9th time, and 7th consecutively despite a 4-4 draw with Eastal Lunar, after a Henrik Bastale brace lifted Turoki Isle to yet another victory, taking Arcticala Inlet out of the race for the title. Marine Coast United's win over Inland Peaks put Coast 1 point behind Arcticala Inlet for 2nd, and gave Turoki Isle more reason to keep their strong run going, just 3 points behind the Peaks. Yutzie Sorma kept both their own and Irougils chances alive by beating Makosile 1-0. Makosile, on 20 points, was the first team out of the relegation zone, 3 points ahead of Irougil and 4 ahead of Yutzie Sorma.
Marine Coast United fell 3 points back of Arcticala Inlet heading into the final match of the season after a draw with Kionao Locals, while neither Inland Peaks or Turoki Isle were able to win, allowing Tivali City to enter themselves into the race for 5th place in the standings. Yutzie Sorma lost out in the relegation clash with Irougil FC, who jumped out of the relegation zone at the expense of Makosile who lost to champion Yeaddin Owls. It looked as if the battle would come down to goal differential, as Irougil entertained Yeaddin Owls on the final matchday, while Makosile faced Eastal Lunar.
Irougil fought bravely to come back from 4-0 down at half time, but lost 4-3 to Yeaddin Owls and found themselves relegated back to the declasse division. Makosile earned a 0-0 draw with Eastal Lunar to save their status for another season. It was Marine Coast's 0-0 draw with bottom club Yutzie Sorma that saw Arcticala Inlet retain second spot despite a loss to Kionao Locals. Strike FC overcame Colonial Sile to leapfrog Marine Coast into Second place in what could be a lucrative jump if Vilita are awarded 3 teams to Internationstatal competition. All 4 teams in the battle for 5th place recorded draws, handing surprising Inland Peaks the position in one of the surprise stories of the year. 3 teams ended level on 34 points and 6th place, with Turoki Isle edgine out Kionao and Tivali City on goal differential.
Arcticala Inlet's Serge DuPont took home the goalscoring title with 18, 7 more than his closest competitor. DuPont was also awarded player of the season. Sarzonia's young midfielder Henrik Bastale impressed in his 13 appearances, scoring 7 goals and earning Foreign Player of the Season award. Cednia Beach's Turorian goalkeeper Milauo Slietah was named Goalkeeper of the year, with Giant Zucchini native Shelton close behind after leading Turoki from bottom to 6th in the table after arriving midway through the season. Strike FC's 24 Year Old defender [[Ricky Ezis] won the Defender of the season award, while Melmond's Loala Saenu won the foreign defender of the year award. 38 year old Christian Dogbe struck back to earn the Midfielder of the Year award and, with little doubt, Serge DuPont easily sweeped up honors for Striker of the year.
Bedistan: The performance of young sriker Alejandro Vantrease was overshadowed by his teammates, but the young forward still managed 3 goals and a place in the fans good side, rare for a Turoki Isle player, with Islanders traditionally being the hardest to please.
Cockbill Street: New signing Rhianna Peters was abysmal playing out of position for dissapointing Cednia Beach AFC. Jonathan Havell performed almost as poorly, conceding more goals than he has ever done before, 44 to be exact almost 2 goals per game past the againt Cockbill Street goalkeeper at Colonial Sile.
Crystilakere: Alpha Siboldi was the only bad thing at Inland Peaks this season. Teammate Noel Adiguzel scored a respectable 6 goals to help the team to 5th in the standings. Defender Fillippo Ferraro was only able to score one goal off a header, and was a dissapointment, probably destracted after winning the World Cup and getting drunk.
Eauz: Michel Rousoi still knows how to get the job done, earning the Vilitan Cup title with Strike FC, and conceding just one goal per game in the Vilitan League, despite picking up Two Seperate 3-match bans.
Giant Zucchini: Shelton was a hit at Turoki Isle conceding just 14 goals in 13 games, helping the team climb the table into 6th place and giving the fans reason to wear a goalkeeper top to the field next season.
Kaze Progressa: Minu Borvel was the most over-payed dissapointment in the league, scoring twice admirable for a defender, but never making the crucial intervention expected of that calibre of player. Turoki Isle teammate Naurew Narkena was much more impressive, proving to be one of the top midfielders in the league with 8 goals and an impressive league record, overshadowing some sketchy performances in the cup.
Melmond: Understated Melmondian defender Loala Saenu was solid but not spectacular in picking up Foreign Defender of the Year awards with Cednia Beach AFC.
Oaker: Probably the worst foreign player in the history, Midfielder Arthin Oaker scored an almost-best 3 goals, in just his 2nd best season ever. In his best season, his first with Colonial Sile, he scored 4. He now has 9 goals in his career with the club.
Rejistania: Former World Cup Winning Captain Kadu Hsen had his worst season despite scoring 1 goal for runners-up Arcticala Inlet. The agining Hsen missed most of the first half with injury.
Sarzonia: Henrik Bastale has quickly become the star of Turoki Isle. At just 19 years of age, Bastale recorded 7 goals in his 13 appearances for the team, and was the driving force behind their climb in the table. Earning foreign midfielder of the year awards, Bastale is surely a player to watch for Sarzonia in World Cup 20.
Starblaydia: Cednia Beach new-boy Stelios Doukas was one of the worst performing players in the second half, but he did snatch his first career goal. Rene Griffiths is starting to get a reputation for conceding lots of goals. With 52 conceded, it is the second worst performance in Eastal Lunar History, with the worst being Griffiths' 59 conceded last season. Marin Watt spent 10 weeks injured at Inland Peaks, but when he was available he did just fine for an 18 year old foreigner, picking up two goals and helping his team to 5th place in the standings. Journeyman Giannis Berisha now plays for Kionao Locals, and despite scoring 5 times, tying a personal best, Berisha was no more than adequate during the season.
Jurgen Ramzi's Jlinal Cove FC became the first 3-Time winners of the Declasse Division by setting a record for points and consecutive victories in a season. Injuries to Simeone Di Bradini and Gbenga Ogunniya late in the season cost Kiiarana a place in the Stellar Division, as Terrarokka Spirit were boosted by the performance of Sylvain Emeka to move into the 2nd place at the end of the season. Turoki United lost their status in the Declasse division for the first time after remaining in the division since Season One, joining Alikki Locals back into Non-League football.
Vilitan Jacques Vintila put in one of the best season any Declasse player has ever had in earning the Declasse player of the year award for Jlinal Cove FC. Foreigners Aman Dedur and Vorrece Peltier performed admirably in their first season with Lonngeylin City, with Dedur scoring one of just 13 total for the club in the season.
In the Group Stage Proper of the Vilitan Cup, Season 10 heros Mliona-Lpaka of Turori were cut down by impressive Sile Town, who earned a draw with both Strike and Lpaka to couple with a victory over Alikki Locals of the Declasse to advance to the 2nd round. FC Almintora's abysmal downturning continued in Group C, earning 0 points and getting knocked out, with non-league Mavaloiao City making the Second Round for just the first time in history. The biggest story came out of Group D, however, with both Non-League teams going through, upsetting Stellar Division Kionao Locals and Declasse's Alikki-Corra. Vilisorma Locals, making the Proper Stage for the first time since Season 3, hit a patch of form winning all 3 group stage matches, and advancing to the Second Round for the first time in history. Laiotia Locals, the cinderella team of the Season 4 Vilitan Cup, joined them in the second round with 4 points. Jaguar Moreda upset Stellar Division side Irougil in Group E, but could not take care of Inland Rovers, allowing Irougil and Declasse side Lopinka to advance. Colonial Sile were absolutely abysmal in Group G, with Cockbill Streetian goalkeeper Jonathan Havell conceding multiple times against weaker opposition. Non-League Kimoara Lika thrashed Declasse's Lonngeylin City to join Rammsissil in the second round. Yeaddin Owls made a mockery of Group J, scoring 10 goals and conceding just 1 en route to 1st place, and they will be joined by fellow Stellar Division club Arcticala Inlet, leaving their Non-League Opposition in pieces in one of the toughest group pairings in recent history.
Laiotia Locals advanced at the hands of Arcticala Inlet after a 3-3 scoreline after extra time. Vilitan National keeper Jimmy Kater was unable to save a single Laiotia penalty, proving the Non-Leaguers to be specialists in the art. German Salomon's missed effort for Arcticala was the difference. Mavaloiao City were the other Non-League team to advance, beating out Declasse's Nusira Lionta. Yeaddin Owls easily saw off Sile Town, while Kimoara Lika went down to a single goal by Declasse side Lopinka. The Third Round Draw saw many entertaining matchups, including the Ultimate Vilitan Clash between Yeaddin Owls and Marine Coast United. Strike FC would entertain Declasse leaders Jlinal Cove, while Non League Teams Laiotia Locals and Vilisorma Locals entertain Turoki Isle and Irougil respectively. Non League Mavaloiao City were drawn away to Makosile.
The Owls made a mockery of Marine Coast United at the Lirai Asku Castle, taking a 3-0 lead into the half with goals from Lai Ncube, Inaki Soler and Antonis Siazzu. Carmine Mbidzo thought he'd gotten Marine back into the game late, but Siazzu struck again as Yeaddin advanced to the Quarter Finals 4-1. Joining the owls would be a pair of non-league teams, Vilisorma Locals edge out Irougil 1-0 in Extra Time, while Mavaloiao City claimed their own Stellar Division scalp in Makosile. Laiotia Locals gave Turoki Isle a run for their money, but their Penalty Magic was all used up, crashing out after a 1-1 draw that saw Alejandro Vantrease net his first goal in Vilita. Both Non-League Teams were drawn against the two remaining Declasse division teams, ensuring that two non-stellar division clubs would be in the semi-final draw.
Vilisorma Locals entertained Rammsissil at home in the second leg of their Vilitan Cup Quarter Final matchup after a goalless draw locked the teams going into the match. Vilitan Under-21 prospect Alioum Konadu, one of the few Non-League players with international recognitions, put Vilisorma in the lead to the delight of the fans. However, their heats were crushed just one minute from time as Rammsissil equalized. Due to a Vilitan hatred of the Away Goals rule, the match went to extra time, and it took Rammsissil 5 minutes into the second extra period to snatch the winner that saw them to the Semi Finals for the second time. Fellow Non-Leagures Mavaloiao City had better luck, however, becoming just the 4th Non-League team to ever make the Semi-Finals of the Vilitan Cup, advancing on penalty kicks over Declasse side Wunokalsa Waridi. Strike FC and Yeaddin Owls both took easy 5-2 aggregate victories, earning a match against each other in the Semi Final, meaning that for the first time ever, a team from outside the Vilitan Stellar Division would be in the Vilitan Cup final.
Rammsissil took a 1-0 lead to Mavaloiao Park for the second leg of the biggest match in the histories of both clubs and Mavaloiao City wasted no time in their quest to becoming the first Non-League team to ever reach the final of the Vilitan Cup. Rammsissil looked under powered as the part timers consistently pressed shot after shot, converting 3 times in the first half to step one foot into the Tivali Ring Stadium. Rammsissil started to fight back, but Mavaloiao City would have none of it, scoring once more to seal the game and clinch their place in Vilitan Cup Final! Yeaddin Owls AFC would not tri-peat as Vilitan Cup Champions as Strike FC's 3-1 first leg victory gave them a 6-4 aggregate win after a 3-3 draw at the Lirai Asku Castle.
A packed house came to the Tivali Ring Stadium, and everyone was wondering whether Mavaloiao City could overtake mighty Strike FC. Mavaloiao City put on a fine performance, but couldn't quite keep up as the sheer class of Strike FC shone through in their 2-0 Vilitan Cup triumph.