The five or six people that read my weekly diagnosis will recall that I predicted that Waitakere Rangers and Albany Green Machine would both be celebrating come the end of the final game of the League 2 season last week. All they teams needed to do to ensure they finished in the same places as where they started the day was to play a game an incident-free game of football. Simple, yeah? But nah!
Thinking that they had the title all sewn up, the Waitekere Rangers opted to risk playing an unregistered player under the name of a registered player, ensuring that they had the players to end their successful first ASFA season with another win. Unfortunately, as is usually the case when an ASFA Match inspector is present on the sidelines, they got caught. What would have been a 3-2 win to the hosts, who started the day five points ahead of their visitors, finished up being a 3-0 loss and 3 penalty points. The new result sees Albany Green Machine promoted to the top of the table, and awarded the Championship. They’ll now be going for a league-cup Double on Finals Day (as will their opponents, the Old Fellas).
In the Premiership, Internationales ensured that they will finish runners up this season by taking all three points in a 2-1 away win against Auckland Volcanoes. Inter host the new Champions, the Kiwi True Blues, in their final league game of the season, a repeat of the recent “epic” cup semi-final, won in the second spell of extra time by last season’s double winners. Independiente host Volcanoes in their final game of the season this coming weekend, knowing that a win would see them avoid relegation at the expense of Auckland Wanderers. A draw or loss, would see them join AUT FC in the Championship in 2019.
Both last week’s Championship fixtures were defaulted by the away teams, the University of Auckland and United FC, handing HNK Auckland a 3-0 win and the Championship title and ensuring that second-placed Bohemian Celtics took a 3-0 win and secured second place (an immediate return to the Premiership). Congratulations to both teams. HNK finish their second successive title winning season off this Sunday with an away game against Khukuri, whilst Boh’s have been given another 3-0 default win. Rest assured, you won’t have it so easy next season!
There were four fixtures played in League 1, three of which saw the winning team score six. The other was the third defaulted game of the weekend. Zamantix Force proved too strong for Zamantix Rovers Returns, winning the derby 6-2 and jumping up to second in the table as a result. With two games remaining, the Force have a two point advantage over third placed Spermwhales. The whales, who still have three games to play, beat City Fringe 6-3 to ensure that they remain in the hunt for second spot (whale… hunt… get it?). Nixon Park, who have dropped to fourth as a result of their late default against champions Dalian, are still in the race for second with three games remaining, but will now be reliant on other results going their way. Western Wanderers’ 6-1 win over AUT FC 2 ensures that they could still come from behind to snatch the second promotion spot (they still have 4 games remaining!). AUT FC’s 14th loss of the season means they now need a lot of things to happen for them to still be playing in League 1 next year. First they have to win both their remaining games, starting this weekend against Kamarak. Should they claim 6 more points then they will need something to go horribly wrong in this weekend’s Double Rum Greenhithe versus City Fringe game, resulting in both teams losing points as a consequence (stranger things have happened). AUT play DRG in their final game of the season, whilst both DRG and City Fringe have two more to play after this weekend’s six pointer (a win for either team would be enough to send AUT down). Elsewhere this weekend, Nixon host the Force and the Wanderers host the Whales in the aformentioned four-way battle for second place. Finally, Dalian travel to the Rovers Return, looking to ensure that they remain the only unbeaten team in the division.
that’s all folks!