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3.MFL Southwest ends with chaos on top (Analysis)

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Leaders Labunishta; photo: Labunishta; photo: last of the third leagues eventually put an end on the first half-season with 5 teams having promotion ambitions lead by Labunishta.

Fourteen teams compete this season in the third league Southwest. The 13 round ended on the last weekend in November, but the official end was postponed as one game was interrupted and a decision had to be taken later. Eventually the issue got solved with Vlaznimi being awarded the points against Sateska whose players left the field protesting for a penalty kick awarded to he hosts in the 73rd minute while 1:1.

Half-season winners - Labunishta is the autumn champion ending at the top with 26 points, 8 wins, 2 draws and 3 defeats. They are far from having the best attack in the league, but together with Struga they have the best defense with only 7 goals conceded. Nothing is sure here as Labunishta will have a tough task to stay at the top since the following 4 teams are very close on points.

Second-place - Half-season runners-up are the teams of Kravari and Ohrid with the later being ranked third due to worse goal-difference. Both have 25 points, or only 1 less then the leaders. Both are also the most efficient teams with Kravari scoring 32 golas while Ohrid 30. Kravari has never played in the second league, while Ohrid is fighting to get back there since the 2012/13 season.

Promotion - This is probably the most exciting legaue when it comes to promotion as the top 5 teams are all striving to win it. 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 with the third league Southwest being affiliated with the second league West. 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 - After failing to maintain fighting for promotion last season, Mogila quit the league during the second half-season and was destined to start from the lowest league. However, they bought the place of Lisolaj, winner of the 4.MFL Bitola. Instead of now doing the work they were striving to, they lie bottom-placed with 10 defeats and only 2 wins.

Surprise - It's not the first time Kravari to be this high, so our choice for a firm surprise goes to Labunishta. It was expected the promotion battle to be between Ohrid, Korabi and newly promoted Struga, but none predicted Labunishta to be involved and even to top the table on half-season..

Goalscorers - Surprisingly, the top scorer is not from the top teams, but from 12th placed Karaorman. Metodija Milevski scored 12 of the 26 golas his team scored, enough top top this list.

Top 5 scorers:
Metodija Milevski (Karaorman)
Nikola Sekuloski (Sateska)
Stefan Karevski (Kravari)
Eugen Djila (Struga)
Habib Klobuchishta (Korabi)

Own goals - Ten own goals were scored, the most of all third leagues. One player even managed to top this list with 2 own golas! The unlucky player is Daniel Mitreski from Sateska. Two teams scored two own goals each, Proleter and Veleshta.

Daniel Mitreski (Sateska)
Jovica Blazheski, Antonio Ruvcheski (Proleter)
Dugagjin Dervishi, Marijan Choleski (Veleshta)
Mitko Ampov (Ohrid)
Vladimir Krstevski (Kravari)
Boban Mitreski (Mogila)
Tome Rechkoski (Prespa)

Discipline - A total of 335 yellow and 28 red cards were shown in the 91 matches. Only Flamurtari, Korabi and Ohrid did not get a red card. The most undisciplined team is Lirija who tops in yellow with 34 and also has 3 red cards. The most undisciplined player comes from Prespa and he got expelled 3 times.

Yellow cards (by club):
34 - Lirija
32 - Flamurtari, Sateska, Struga
31 - Karaorman
26 - Mogila
24 - Ohrid
23 - Vlaznimi
20 - Labunishta
19 - Proleter
18 - Kravari
17 - Prespa
16 - Korabi
11 - Veleshta

Red cards (by club):
5 - Prespa, Vlaznimi
4 - Veleshta
3 - Karaorman, Lirija, Sateska
1 - Kravari, Labunishta, Mogila, Proleter, Struga

Yellow cards (by player):
Aleksandar Siljanoski (Sateska)
Ibrahim Lebiti (Flamurtari)
Metin Hajrulovski (Prespa)
Zoran Buncheski (Karaorman)
Ilija Trpkoski (Sateska)
Djemil Islaimi (Lerija)
Nikola Milenkovski (Proleter)
Shenol Medi (Ohrid)

Red cards (by player):
Toni Nastevski (Prespa)
Kostadin Siljanoski (Sateska)

Players - 15 players were 100% regular this half-season. They played the whole 90 minutes in each round and were never substituted. Three such players come from Flamurtari and Vlaznimi, while no such player exists in Karaorman, Korabi, Lirija and Sateska.

Most regular players:
Janche Jancheski, Nikola Grdanoski, Shkumbin Kalikji (Vlaznimi)
Milot Lena, Detar Selimi, Diar Selimi (Flamurtari)
Martin Gjorgievski, Dejan Apostolovski (Kravari)
Ljuben Dalchev (Ohrid)
Nikolche Chergovski (Mogila)
Mejdin Rechi (Veleshta)
Senat Useinoski (Labunishta)
Hristijan Gjorgjieski (Prespa)
Jovica Stefanoski (Proleter)
Ljupcho Trpeski (Struga)

Biggest wins - Promotion candidates Struga are the holders of the highest win this half-season. They managed to score 8 goals past the team of Prespa in the Round 13 and not to concede any.

Struga - Prespa 8:0
Sateska - Veleshta 7:0
Ohrid - Proleter 7:1
Kravari - Proleter 7:2
Labunishta - Lirija 5:0

Highest scoring games - One game holds the record for highest scoring first half-season match. In the Round 12 were scored 9 goals as Kravari celebrated a 7:2 win over Proleter.

9 at Kravari - Proleter 7:2
8 at Korabi - Veleshta 6:2, Ohrid - Proleter 7:1, Struga - Prespa 8:0
7 at Veleshta - Karaorman 4:3, Sateska - Veleshta 7:0,
Karaorman - Sateska 5:2, Sateska - Proleter 3:4
6 at Sateska - Lirija 4:2, Flamurtari - Sateska 5:1, Sateska - Korabi 2:4, Kravari - Lirija 4:2,
Sateska - Prespa 4:2, Flamurtari - Veleshta 5:1, Lirija - Ohrid 4:2

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


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