Chile

Weekend Guide 30.4.2016

Only one month is left. This is the money time of the season, and this weekend we’re off to Australia’s final match, than to meet the new champions of Chile, and finally, to enjoy a passionate derby from Lebanon. Yallah, vamos, let’s go!

(All the hours are in CET local time)

Amateur (Like these goalkeepers)

What? Adelaide United – Western Sydney Wanderers (Australian A-League)

When? Sunday, 0800

Where? Adeladie Oval, Adelaide

Why? The final match is here. Just 90 decisive minutes, and we will know which team will win its first ever title. Adelaide United were the regular season champions, one point ahead of Western Sydney Wanderers. Both teams previously lost twice in the finals – Adelaide in 2007 and 2009, Western Sydney in 2013 and 2014.

Key Players: He was born in the US, has an Ivorian father and a Togolese mother and he represented Australia, so there is no surprise that

Bruce Djite, Adelaide’s forward, is his team leader. Meanwhile, Romeo Castelen, the Dutchman of Western Sydney, is the semi finals hero.

A Real Drama: Western Sydney Wanderers qualified after a heroic semifinal match, just watch it!

Professional (like this goal)

What? O'Higgins – Universidad de Concepción (Chilean Campeonato Nacional)

When? Saturday, 2100

Where? Estadio El Teniente, Rancagua

Why? O'Higgins is one step from its second title ever. Before the last match of the season, O'Higgins are on top with two points ahead of Universidad Católica. Universidad de Concepción is trying to improve before the playoff, in order to get a Copa Sudamericana spot.

Key Players: The main player of O'Higgins is Pablo Calandria, who scored 16 goals in this season and played in France, Spain and Argentina. Gabriel Vargas is the guy to watch in Universidad de Concepción, as he is one of the club’s biggest players with 102 league goals, what also makes him the club all-time top scorer.

The Leader: O'Higgins named after Bernardo O'Higgins, who was one of the Chilean independence leaders in the 19th century.

World Class (like this goal)

What? Nejmeh – Safa (Lebanese Premier League)

When? Saturday, 1430

Where? Bourj Hammoud Stadium, Beirut

Why? 9 points are left and the race for the Lebanese title is close to its end. The leaders are Safa with 46 points, while the reigning champions Al Ahed are in 2nd place with 45 points and Nejmeh are on 3rd with 41 points. Hot! Besides being a title match, this is also one of Beirut derbies, so we have also the city prestige on the line. Extra Hot!

Key Players: Nejmeh have one of the biggest Lebanese football stars, Abbas Atwi, who plays for the team since 1997 and he is the most capped player for Lebanon national team. Safa have a great defense and that's thanks to Mohamed Zein Tahan, one of the most dominant players in his club’s recent successful runs.

Foreign in the Middle East: The Romanian manager of Nejmeh, Valeriu Tița, previously was the manager of Safa. He spent time also in the Emirates, Kuwait, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Syria, where he managed the national team and won the AFC Cup with Al Ittihad Aleppo.

Weekend Guide 19.12.2015

After last week, I decided to give you more finals in our Weekend Guide. An Arab-Latino final from Chile, the Indian Super League finish line, and a tight race in Trinidad and Tobago.

(All the hours are in CET local time)

Amateur (Like these guys)

What? Universidad Católica – Palestino (Chilean Primera División)

When? Sunday, 2330

Where? Estadio San Carlos de Apoquindo, Santiago

Why? Colo Colo is the champions, and both teams playing for Libertadores tickets. It’s the second leg of the Apertura final, afer Palestino won the 1st leg 2:1. This match is a decisive one.

Key Players: Cristopher Toselli, one of the best Chilean goalkeepers, is the guy to keep your eyes on in Universidad Católica. Palestino striker, Marcos Riquelme, is the league top scorer with 10 goals.

First Time: While Palestino didn't won the league since 1978, the women team made a great history this season, with their first title ever. At the final they won 2:1 against Colo Colo, who won the last 10 national titles.

Professional (like these goals)

What? FC Goa – Chennaiyin FC (Indian Super League)

When? Sunday, 1430

Where? Fatorda Stadium, Goa

Why? The 2nd edition of the ISL is coming to its end, and we will have new champions – Goa or Chennai. Goa finished at top spot in the regular season, so they have the home advantage. Chennaiyin, last year’s runner-ups, eliminated former champions Atlético de Kolkata in the semifinals, and will hope to finish one place higher than last year.

Key Players: Forget about the old famous foreigners. Don't miss FC Goa's Jonatan Lucca, 21 years old Brazilian midfielder, that previously failed to play in AS Roma senior team and today shines in India. On the other side we have Chennaiyin's Stiven Mendoza, 23 years old Colombian striker and the league top scorer with 12 goals.

Indian World Champions: Each of the teams has a crew of owners which include businessmen, Bollywood stars and cricket players.  Virat Kohli of FC Goa and M.S Dhoni of Chennaiyin were both part of the Indian cricket team who won the2011 World Cup.

World Class (like this goal)

What? Defence Force – North East Stars (TT Pro League)

When? Saturday, 2100

Where? Hasely Crawford Stadium, Port of Spain

Why? After 7 weeks, the league of Trinidad and Tobago is extremely tight. Just 4 points separates the 1stand the 7th place and it seems that the season will stay close all the way to the finish. Defence Force are in on 1st place with 14 points, lost only once this season, while North East Stars, are behind on 3rd with 13 points.

Key Players:  Devorn Jorsling, Defence Force striker, is one of the veteran players of the club, playing at the club for 11 seasons. In North East Stars you can find Neveal Hackshaw, a 20 years old midfielder that already played several times for the senior national team.

To the Reserves: Ross Russell was a player and a manager at Defence Force for 26 years, winning 10 league titles. In January 2014 he had to retire due to the end of his military service.

Weekend Guide-Recap Birthday Edition

Hey Baba!

I've heard it's your birthday. As a real football enthusiast, I decided to give you the best present. So take your sit back, and enjoy  the best matches we had on our Weekend Recap during the past year.

January 23, Iran – Iraq (AFC Asian Cup)

After the Asian Cup group stage, Iran was one of the favorites for winning the tournament, although the Iraqis had different plans. With amazing 90 minutes, four goals in the extra time and great penalty shootouts, Iraq sensationally qualified for the semifinals.

Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P9QpyXx9znY

March 14, Universidad de Chile – Colo Colo (Chilean Primera División)

Imagine it. It's the biggest derby of your club, in your opponent's stadium. Your team struggled behind, but equalized during the second half. Then, in the additional time, your team gets a penalty. This is the story of this match, and this is how it looks from the POV of Colo Colo fans. Goosebumps.

Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jb_xWIlC2TM

March 22, Al Nasr – Al Ahli (Saudi Premier League)

These two teams were in the race for the title during the season. Al Nasr took the lead quickly, but a great performance by Al Ahli made the change. Despite this victory, Al Ahli failed to win any title, finished second in the league, 4 points behind Al Nasr.

Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mg46wk5KDH8

April 25, Crvena Zvezda – Partizan Belgrade (Serbian Superliga)

A Goalless draw? That's not a big deal! The derby of Belgrade is always full of passion with its fans and atmosphere. You can see that even with a dull result, the game was great, so maybe until your next birthday you will visit that match! (I know a few guys who can give you some tips).

Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LxZ-KrUGVv0

June 1, Nigeria – Brazil (U-20 World Cup)

So Baba, I hope you will keep enjoy football, like these talented kids. Keep showing up the beautiful side of the game, and always keep it happy. By the way, Brazil were the runner-ups of the World Cup, I wish that this year you will be the World champion.

Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vU7MpwqDboI