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3.MFL North ends with Lokomotiva on top (Analysis)

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The logo of LokomotivaThe logo of LokomotivaSecond of the third leagues to go on a winter break is the North where Lokomotiva is the half-season champion with only a point advantage over Goblen Junior.

The North with only 12 teams is the smallest third league of all five and the only one that decided not to expand before the season started. That's why only 11 rounds were played. Two more rounds were planed before the winter break, but the clubs insisted to go on a break because of the fact that many of the fields are not in good conditions for football during this cold months. So, the past weekend no game was played and the league officially went on a break.

Half-season winners - Lokomotiva is the autumn champion ending at the top with 29 points, without any defeat, only 2 draws and 9 wins. They were only held in the road game against Madjari Solidarnost and at home against rivals Goblen Junior, both ending 1:1. In the 11 games they managed to score incredible 31 goals and concede only 7.

Second-place - Half-season runners-up is the team of Goblen Junior who last season missed a chance to play in the second league as got eliminated in the promotion play-offs by Akademija Pandev. They are only a point behind Lokomotiva with a score of 9 wins, 1 draw and 1 defeat. As mentioned above, they tied Lokomotiva away, while the only team that managed to beat them was Fortuna with 2:1 in the opening round. They are the most efficient team in the league with 40 goals scored.

Promotion - It is clear that the battle will be only between the top two as third-placed SSK is 9 points behind Goblen Junior, while Madjari Solidarnost is 10 points behind. However, due to the new format of the second league next season, it is unclear if even the champion will get promoted. Next season there will be two groups in the second league, group East and group West with 10 teams each. The third league North is affiliated with the second league West although teams that belong to the Kratovo area will enter the second league East (but no such clubs compete this season). Problem is that 6 of the 10 current second league teams belong to the West and 7 of the 10 current first league teams, which makes many combinations of the possible look of the second league West next season. The winners of the third leagues North, West and Southwest will at least enter in a promotion play-off, but there is a slight possibility for a direct promotion. It will be known after the season ends and the first two leagues will be concluded.

Half-season standings (click to enlarge)Half-season standings (click to enlarge)

Regelation - Due to the problem mentioned above, it is unclear how many teams will be relegated or even if any team will face relegation.

Underperformers - Except the top two for which it was expected to be there, no other teams had any ambitions so we can't really say that someone underperformed.

Surprise - Newly promoted team SSK is definitely the biggest surprise. Last season they gained promotion after winning the 4.MFL Kisela Voda. None expected from them to be third on half-season before the likes of Madjari Solidarnost, Kadino and Fortuna. Plus, they are the third most efficient team with 29 goals scored.

Goalscorers - As Goblen Junior is the team with most goals scored, it is normal that the top scorer is from that team. Bekim Ramadani managed to score 14 of the 40 goals his team scored, and that says that he was scoring at least 1 goal every game.

Top 5 scorers:
14
Bekim Ramadani (Goblen Junior)
10
Jaiji Arbnor (Goblen Junior)
9
Emir Bakijov (SSK)
Behar Demiri (Besa-Vlazrimi)
8
Aleksandar Bozhinov (Petrovec)
Vulnet Memeti (Fortuna)
Denis Milenov (Lokomotiva)

Own goals - Only 1 own goal was scored. The unlucky player was Darko Kostadinovski from the team of Goce Delchev when during the Round 6 when in the 65th minute set the final score of 4:1 in the road defeat by Madjari Solidarnost.

1
Darko Kostadinovski (Goce Delchev)

Discipline - A total of 221 yellow and 23 red cards were shown in the 66 matches. Only Besa-Vlazrimi, Lokomotiva and Slavija did not get a red card, while Besa-Vlazrimii is the overall most disciplined team with only 10 yellow cards. The most undisciplined team is Kadino who tops everyone in both yellow and red cards. Three players were twice expelled, two of them from Kadino.

Yellow cards (by club):
31 - Kadino
24 - Goblen Junior
22 - Slavija
21 - Petrovec, SSK
20 - Volkovo
17 - Ilinden
16 - Madjari Solidarnost
14 - Goce Delchev
13 - Fortuna
12 - Lokomotiva
10 - Besa-Vlazrimi

Red cards (by club):
5 - Kadino
3 - Goce Delchev, Madjari Solidarnost, Petrovec, SSK
2 - Fortuna, Ilinden
1 - Goblen Junior, Volkovo

Yellow cards (by player):
5
Bunjamin Shahini (Goblen Junior)
Kristijan Ristovski (Kadino)
Kristijan Milanov (Slavija)
4
Mario Blagojevski, Nikica Bogdanovski (Kadino)
Nikola Minovski (Lokomotiva)
Riste Nakovski (SSK)

Red cards (by player):
2
Kristijan Ivanovski, Nikica Bogdanovski (Kadino)
Nikola Atanasov (SSK)

Players - Only 8 players were 100% regular this half-season. They played the whole 90 minutes in each round and were never substituted. Two of them are from Lokomotiva and Fortuna, while no such player exists in Goce Delchev, Ilinden, Madjari Solidarnost, Petrovec, Slavija, SSK.

Most regular players:
Ninoslav Dodevski, Dejan Siljanovski (Lokomotiva)
Vulnet Memeti, Berat Shakiri (Fortuna)
Shkeljzen Limani (Besa-Vlazrimi)
Erduan Mamuti (Volkovo)
Zaid Memeti (Goblen Junior)
Blazhe Mitrev (Kadino)

Biggest wins - Runners-up Goblen Junior are the holders of the highest win this half-season. They managed to score 7 goals past the team of Petrovec in the Round 8.

Petrovec - Goblen Junior 0:7
Madjari Solidarnost - Ilinden 6:1
Ilinden - Slavija 6:1
SSK - Ilinden 6:1
Kadino - Slavija 5:0
Kadino - Lokomotiva 0:5

Highest scoring games - Two games share the prize for highest scoring first half-season match with 9 goals each. In the Round 2 Ilinden celebrated a 5:4 win over Besa-Vlazrimi, while the same club beat Petrovec 6:3 in the Round 10. Surely the fans of Ilinden enjoyed an entertaining games.

9 at Ilinden - Besa-Vlazrimi 5:4, Ilinden - Petrovec 6:3
8 at Goblen Junior - Besa -Vlazrimi 5:3, SSK - Volkovo 5:3
7at Madjari Solidarnost - Ilinden 6:1, Slavija - Goblen Junior 2:5,
Petrovec - Besa -Vlazrimi 5:2, Lokomotiva - Besa-Vlazrimi 5:2,
Petrovec - Goblen Junior 0:7, SSK - Ilinden 6:1, Fortuna - Besa-Vlazrimi 4:3

Now there is a long winter break as the second half-season will begin in March next year.

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