Lebanese Futsal League : Last Round of the Regular Season
19 Jan. 2017 – The curtain is falling on the regular season of the Lebanese Futsal League (Division 1) with the last games taking place this week.
Numbers wise, some of the upcoming games of the Final 8 seem decided. This phase of the championship will take place as usual: The team who wins 2 games out of 3 will qualify for the next round.
3 places have been settled so far, and these teams will play their games just to fulfill their duties. In fact, Bank of Beirut are very far away in the lead with 43 points. The Lebanese Army are second with 34 points and AUST are last (9th place). In other words, AUST will have to face the 4th in the Division 2, in a relegation game (barrage), to decide of their fate in the division 1.
Moreover, the Disciplinary Committee of the federation has decided to deduct 6 points from the tally of Sayda Freedom because they didn’t show up at the Derby of the South against South Sporting. They now stand at the 8th position with 9 points and they can neither do better nor worse even if they were to win their last game against Tripoli Fayhaa. In case of a win for the Southern team, and in the event that South Sporting lose to Club 1875 (USJ), both teams will find themselves with 12 points but the head-to-head match-ups play in favor of South Sporting. Of course, this means that Sayda Freedom will face Bank of Beirut in the Final 8, and that’s the only face off that has been settled.
Back to this week’s games, Bank of Beirut will face AUST in a decided game where the leaders are by far favorites to win. The result of this game won’t in any way affect the standings and the next phase of the league. The 3 other games will take place at the same hour, on Sunday the 22nd at 5:00 PM, on 3 different courts just for transparency purposes.
As a matter of fact, a very tough game will take place on the Emile Lahoud Stadium between Achrafieh Youth Club and Choueifat with 26 and 24 points respectively. A draw for Achrafieh is enough to stay in 3rd. However, a win for either team would mean securing 3rd place, thus avoiding facing Bank of Beirut in the semi-final. We could call this game the clash of the titans.
On the other hand, in Sayda, Tripoli Fayhaa will visit Freedom Sayda in a crucial game for the hosts who will want to take their revenge after losing to Tripoli in the 1st leg. The Southern team wants to prove that it has the required level to compete with the big kids, in their first season in Division 1. And in response to missing their game against South Sporting, the President of Freedom Sayda said that this game was behind them, and they had already turned the page. They skipped the game on purpose, because they moved it from Sayda to Beirut. He added that this measure was not a challenge for anyone, but it was rather the team taking a stand and proving a point. He insisted that they will not hesitate to do the same in case anyone decides to deprive the club from their home court advantage.
Besides, if Tripoli are to win, they could advance to 5th place just in case Club 1875 (USJ) lose to South Sporting. However, the task of Tripoli seems extremely hard amidst the absence of its star players Kassem Kaswan, Hassan Zeitoun, and Issa Mohrez. In addition, Tripoli Fayhaa have added the captain of the Colombian national team, Angellot Caro, to their ranks and could add another foreigner to their roster.
As for the 3rd game, Club 1875 (USJ) will face South Sporting. In case the latter wins, they will end the regular season with 15 points. A not so bad performance for a new comer in the league. We should also shed the light on what this team has gone through of ups and downs this year. It has been one heck of rollercoaster ride for them in Division 1. As for the visitors, Club 1875 (USJ), they play this game with no pressure at all, as they are well aware that their 5th place is secure.
Stay tuned for the schedule of the Final 8 that promises to be exciting!
Article by: Ghina Chehwan