The much anticipated TML Cup and Plate Final finally took place on June 8th.
TML started with the Plate Final, Division 2 Suns SC vs Division 3 Nepal United.
Both teams showing success in their respective divisions, it was bound to be a competitive game. At the current pace, Nepal have finished first in their division and Suns are tied for first in the second division.
Suns SC scored within the first 5 minutes of the game, almost as if to show Nepal United the difference between division 2 and division 3. Nepal United looked overwhelmed by Suns physical and very aggressive defense. As the game proggressed Suns pressure on the ball slowed down slightly and Nepal got used to the pace of the game.
A bad collision between Suns Striker foot and Nepals Goal Keeper head caused serious damage, putting the keeper out of the game and into the ambulance. With a sudden loss of keeper, nothing was going in Nepals way. Suns ended the first half with a 1-0 lead.
In the second half, Nepal United had a better showing, displaying some of their trademark passing combinations. However, every time Nepal United took a touch too much, Suns were literally right on them with a very physical defense. Had Nepal United let go of the ball slightly quicker and faster, there could have been greater chances for them. Suns continue to pull away with a another goal early in the second half and another from a beautiful free kick. Although Nepal scored a goal and showed some great moments, Sun's physically overpowered Nepal. The Plate final ended in a 3-1 score for Suns. Depending on the remaining games, Suns might win a double, winning the plate and their division!
The Cup final between Zion FC and Hibernian FC was very different from the Plate final. Even though there wasn't necessarily more fouls committed, there was definitely more aggression. Every aerial ball, 50/50 ball would be contested. This is the difference that stands out the most between each tier. The higher the division, the exponentially aggresive they are towards loose balls. As commentator Dave explained, "you have to compete. Even if you know you aren't going to win it".
With the Cup on the line, both teams were not giving the other any inches. This created a "bitty game. Not very free flowing" (-Dave). Both teams created multiple chances but it was Zion that scored first with a penalty kick. Being on the losing end, and with time slowly dwindling down, Hibernian FC increasingly launched hopefull long balls into the box. Despite the sound of that, this posed as quite a problem for Zion. Long balls in the box, corner kicks were being mostly won by the Hibernian FC and although they had some close goals from it (hitting the post twice), Zion pulled away with another goal in the second half after a turnover of possesion near the Hibernian defense. The game ended 2-0, with Zion taking the 2019 FJ Cup
This win is historical in many senses. It is Zions first piece of silverware in Division 1. It is also Hibs first time they have lost a cup final (after winning 6 Cups from 2004).
Congratulations to all teams that have made it this far. And congratulations for Zion and Suns to win the Cup and Plate respectively.
Plate Final Photos:
Plate Final Video:
Cup Final Digested Video: