HOW does a football club score 59 goals in one match?
That’s an average of ONE goal every ONE-AND-HALF minutes.
A goal every 90 seconds.
The tally of goals which many clubs struggle to get in the entire campaign of even a 38-game season.
Well, that’s what a South African football club, Matiyasi FC, precisely did recently in a decisive league match.
For the record, the provincial side, until then just an unknown Limpopo side, won the match 59-1.
That their opponents even scored, in this match, despite the hammering they received, is even as shocking as the final outcome of the contest.
Stranger than fiction?
Of course not, that’s the reality of today’s football, which describes itself as the most beautiful game, but has a lot of dark arts surrounding it.
Okay, let’s get to the story because, given the circumstances, it was always going to end badly for both sides who featured in this farce, disguised as a football match.
Here is what we know.
A Limpopo-based club, in the lower divisions of the South African football system, has been banned for life after scoring fifty-nine goals in one match.
Matiyasi FC, who were vying for promotion to the Provincial ABC Motsepe League, thrashed Nsami Mighty Birds 59-1.
Incredibly, 41 of the goals were scored by their opponents and were recorded by the match officials as own goals.
A player who was recorded to have been given a red card, in the first half, was also recorded to have scored a goal in the second half.
The incident occurred last week and the South African Football Association have swiftly reacted. According to FarPost.co.za, SAFA’s regional office in Limpopo summoned both clubs to a Disciplinary Committee hearing on May 25, in Giyani.
The teams were charged and found guilty of corruption and contravening the association’s statutes.
According to the verdict, the clubs have been permanently banned from all football activities while the officials implicated from both teams have also been given a five-year suspension within the region.
But, they were not the only bad apples in the decisive matches in which promotion, to a higher league, was at stake.
Another match from the same league saw Shivulani Dangerous Tigers hammer Kototo Happy Boys 33-1 on the same date.
Seven were own goals in that match.
The teams were also found guilty of contravening the SAFA rules and were handed a life-ban from all football activities.
Matiyasi were third in their league and were three points behind the leaders.
Crucially, they were 18 goals behind on goal difference.
They needed to hammer the Mighty Birds, to stand any chance of beating their rivals, especially on goal difference.
So, it went to the drama of that afternoon when, by the end of the match, Matiyasi had won 59-1.
The drama didn’t end there, though.
Matiyasi’s rivals for the promotional spot, Shivulani Dangerous Tigers, were also on their special, if not questionable, mission.
Somehow, whether inspired by the events which were unfolding elsewhere, they decided to go on a scoring rampage.
In today’s world, where mobile phones can relay events at a particular field, it’s likely that the Dangerous Tigers were kept abreast of what was happening in the other game.
By the end of the day, they had scored 33 goals, won by a 31-goal margin, and there were smiles all around their camp.
They were scoring at an average of a goal every two minutes and, just like their rivals, they allowed their opponents to get a goal back.
It was just too much and authorities had to intervene.
The media in South Africa also reported that Nsami Mighty Birds, Shivulani Dangerous Tigers and Kototo Happy Boys were also banned. – Hmetro/FarPost.
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