Mark: 2 – Luxur FC 45: 0.

In the first game of knockout stage of the “battle of the basement” West End United faced off against Luxur FC 45. The first 3 goals of the game came in the first 15 minutes of the match almost exaclty 5 minutes apart. Luxur broke the deadlock to which West End responded with Bartek doing a lot of “heaving lifting” to setup Nathan for his first of the night, but Luxur responded 5 minutes later with a goal to take back the lead. Bartek got West End on even terms, this time on an individual effort after a bit of a scramble in the penalty box to send the ball past the keeper. Before the end of the first half Waseem had a couple of great opportunities to get West End ahead by couple of goals, however his “post streak” continued as he managed to hit each post in a span of 10 minutes. In the second half West End finally got ahead for the first time in the game when Dario setup Nathan for his second of the night which he finished with authority. Luxur came back to tie the game and efforts from both teams not to go into a penalty shoot-out ended in vain, so the first post season shoot-out is what was needed to separate the evenly matched teams.

West End lost the coin toss and were forced to take the first best-of-three penalty. Dario took on this responsibility and after getting the keeper to go the wrong way got a clean start for West End. Mark then faced his first penalty and reading the player perfectly saved the shot giving West End and advantage. Wasseem took the second penalty and with a pin-point accuracy put the ball past the “frozen” keeper. So, with an opportunity for a dramatic finish to the game, Mark faced his second penalty and again read the player correctly making a solid stop and winning the game for West End with a penalty shutout. A somewhat dramatic and a much-needed win for West End as they were not able to produce a positive result in the playoff run so far.

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