Taiwan Steel 3-1 Flight Skywalkers
Taiwan Steel recovered from a sluggish start to eventually run out comfortable victors against Flight Skywalkers.
The home side came close to an early breakthrough when Turks & Caicos international Marc Fenelus hit the post, with Yu Chia-Huang doing the same from the rebound.
After the early scare, Skywalkers settled into the game and frustrated the home side, who spent much of the first-half camped in the Skywalkers half.
However, keeping out an attack boasting firepower such as Steel’s is a mammoth task, made more so when Benchy Estama, Steel’s tops scorer last season, was added to the front line at half-time.
The aggressive change soon paid dividends and the Tainan side took a deserved lead in the 56th minute when new signing Kouame Ange Samuel rounded Hung Shih-Cheng for a simple finish.
From there it was always likely to be a simple affair for Steel.
The Tainan side doubled their lead in the 62nd minute through Fenelus’ penalty, with the striker scoring his second and Steel’s third 12 minutes later following a goalmouth scramble.
With the game long beyond them, Skywalkers were at least able to snatch a late consolation thanks to Lin Chun-Kai’s curling effort from the edge of the box in the 91st minute.
However, with the two-goal cushion intact there was zero chance of Steel suffering a repeat of last week’s game against Hang Yuan, where Chen Yen-Jui’s unfortunate late own goal robbed them of a deserved win.
Tatung FC 0-1 Taipower
Shih Shin-An’s eighth-minute mistake proved to be the difference in a hard-fought derby game at Taipei Arena.
The home team had started strongly but were undone when goalkeeper Shih spilled Chen Chao-An’s cross into his own goal.
From that point, Tatung – missing captain Lee Pin-Hsien through injury – struggled to break down an organised Taipower team, who harbour title ambitions after going close in recent seasons.
Tatung’s best chance to restore parity came in the 17th minute through winger Chang Hao-Wei, who wasted a great opportunity when he fired tamely at Chiu Yu-Hung when well placed.
In the second-half, Tatung again found it difficult to penetrate the Kaohsiung side’s defence and the home side became increasingly vulnerable to the counter attack as they chased the game.
However, the home side should have equalised with the last kick of the game. After Chiu had spilled a cross, substitute Ben Ouedraogo thought he had rescued his side only for the raised boot of stricken teammate Lin Chih-Syuan to block his goal-bound effort.
Hang Yuan 1-0 Taichung Futuro
In arguably the biggest shock of the day, Hang Yuan edged past Futuro to move up to third in the table.
The home side took the lead in emphatic fashion when Hsu Yi fired a right-footed rocket from outside the box past Tuan Hsuan in the 17th minute.
Futuro came close to levelling things in the 26th minute.
However, Taiwan international Onur Dogan, newly arrived from Tatung, could only hook an inventive shot onto the crossbar from a corner.
Futuro continued to push hard for an equaliser in the second half and came close through Chen Hao-Wei and Huang Sheng-Chieh. However, despite dominating possession as the game drew to a close, the visitors could not force a decisive chance and Hang Yuan held out for a valuable three points.
CPC FC 1-1 LHNTUS
Land Home NTUS remain bottom despite a battling away point against CPC FC. The away side dominated early proceedings and were perhaps unfortunate to find themselves level at the break.
This was rectified in the 63rd minute when Chen Chun-Ting smashed a left-footed effort into the top left from 15 yards out.
However, 16 minutes later CPC levelled when Uzbekistani forward Vladislav Nuriev shrugged off Chen to scuff a shot into the bottom left.
In the remaining minutes CPC looked to build on the momentum the goal had given them, while LHNTUS attempted to pick the home side off on the counter.
This almost bore fruit for the away side in the 85th minute when Huang Tzu-Ming broke down the right. However, although he was able to lob the ball over the onrushing Tsai Shuo-Che from 35 yards, his effort landed the wrong side of the post.
This article first appeared in Taiwan Football News