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Viking South Utsira
Division 1b, The Xpert Ladies
Manager: VelvetAndroid
VSU take down champs to keep hopes alive
Viking South Utsira's playoff hopes in Division 3e rest on the final day of the term this coming Tuesday, as after a dodgy recent spell VelvetAndroid's side have pulled out a couple of key late-season victories to put them right back in the hunt -- including a fine one at champions-elect San Quirico this past Tuesday.

Forward Anastasija Kvalvik stunned the leaders by firing the Norsewomen in front in only the second minute, then her strike partner Nina Austrheim settled things not long after the hour mark by heading her 11th goal of the campaign to hand VSU a 2-0 win over a team who had won six in a row previously and whose only previous league loss was back on June 1st. Bizarrely, though, the result extended the two clubs' streak against each other of a home team never winning -- the pair have met 8 times now, and are each 3-1-0 up overall at the other's home ground!

There were three teams behind San Quirico in the mix for the playoff position until Tuesday, but the third, FC Nee-Nee, drew with Spicks Killiettes to leave them out of contention despite having lost only twice all season. So things have streamlined down to an either-or situation: Viking need to beat an already-down San Francisco Wet Cats at home and hope that BV Cloppenburg, a point ahead in 2nd after relegating Busby Babes in a 3-0 win this week, don't win at San Quirico in turn. Which looks a pretty good scenario for the Utsirans to sneak in there - yet there's a complication. Until this week Quirico were unbeaten at home, but Cloppenburg are 5-1-0 8-1 away for the campaign so are by no means unlikely to pull off the win they need to guarantee 2nd.

Oddly, too, Viking are currently leading that away table having completed their own road campaign 5-2-0 (F/A 12-5), the victory at Quirico rounding off a first wholly unbeaten away season since Season 52 -- only their fourth ever under Android and their second best one in his 24 seasons in charge, the others being 3-4-0 in Div 2b in S50, 4-3-0 in Div 4h in S45 and the flawless 7-0-0 as half of the 14-0-0 the Blood Eagles managed in Android's debut season at the helm in Div 7:56 back in S39. At home this term, however, VSU are ranked only 5th in 3e and sit currently on a pretty poor 2-1-3 (F/A 8-9). They will be relying on San Francisco's awful away form (0-1-5 3-12) not improving in the next couple of days to help them over the line there, after which everything hangs on the result between Quirico and Cloppenburg.

On the minus side, it's quite possible the Utsirans will have to settle for a midtable finish regardless. On the plus side, if they do end up sneaking 2nd it's a 'bonus' game for development purposes. That's what the main hope is for this coming week, frankly, as actually gaining promotion is a secondary aim - even though it will still feel slightly galling to fall short if they finish with three straight wins...

2021-08-09 01:45 1029 Views Reporter: TonyBrazil

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