Taipei City FC wrapped up a successful Businessman’s League (BML) campaign with a narrow 2-1 victory over last season’s champions Fritz FC at Shilin’s Bailing Bridge on Sunday.
With City having already made their second BML championship mathematically secure last week, both teams went into the season’s final game with little to play for but pride.
The multinational expat side opened the scoring early in the first half with a fine solo effort from Alex Ramirez, the Mexican outpacing the Fritz defense to slide a neat finish past the ’keeper.
Ramirez’s goal seemed to act as a wake-up call for Fritz, who were soon back on level terms when a deflected shot from outside the box squirmed past Alex Moga in the City goal. But with the half-time interval approaching, Ed Cartee put City back on top with a moment of individual brilliance.
After gaining possession near the left wing, Cartee skipped past a couple of defenders before unleashing an unstoppable strike into the far corner, underlining just why a top Argentine club have agreed to give the 22-year-old American a one-month trial with a view to a professional contract.
In the second half, Fritz dominated possession as they went in search of an equalizer, but it was City who were guilty of profligacy at the other end, spurning numerous chances to put the game away.
In the end neither team could add to the goals tally and City held on for a deserved, if narrow, victory.
The win capped a triumphant season for City, who finished 10 points ahead of runners up Hong Min FC. Over the course of their 18 games, City dropped points on only three occasions, suffering just one loss in the competition that brings together some of the best local and expat soccer talent in the Taipei area.
City also scooped all three of the individual awards, with the MVP going to Tim Murphy, Coach of the Year to Ross Conlon, and Dan Calvert bagging the Golden Boot with a tally of 19 goals.