The Sol Super Cup may have lost some its glamour since the introduction of the Interplanetary Champions’ League but the competition still has the ability to produce some mouth-watering ties and we have some crackers lined up for the quarter finals.
Dynamo Afekan (Titan) vs. Olympus Athletic (Mars)
Afekan, seen by many as the rising stars of the solar system will take on three-time winners Olympus.
Athletic, despite their former glories, have failed to take the Martian title for twelve consecutive seasons and will be desperate to acquire some silverware. After a strong start to the season, their fans are starting to believe that the good times are here again. Dave Green, editor of the Olympus fanzine “Mars Attacks!” said “We’re on fire right now. Adabeyo is scoring for fun and the new lad Grimes is a find in a million. There’s a genuine belief on Olympus Mons that it’s our year for the cup.”
Athletic’s passage to the semi final will not be an easy one, though. Dynamo receive liberal funding from the Titanian Communist Party and have been eager to splash the cash. Their recent purchase of goalkeeper Toni Ferucci, alone, is rumoured to have cost upwards of 300 million solar dollars and has taken their recent spending to an astronomical S$4 billion. The question remains, though, as to whether so many new signings can gel in time to make any progress this season.
Our verdict: Athletic to progress despite a tricky away draw.
Azacca Juniors (Ceres) vs. Caloris Basin Rangers (Mercury)
Denizens of the Asteroid Belt will, yet again, be pinning their hopes on Azacca. Twice the beaten finalists in recent years, Juniors will be hoping to go one better this term. An unbeaten run in the Asteroidal Premier League and an unassailable 20-point lead would seem to underline their credentials but Caloris Basin could well turn their cup dreams to ashes. The mercurial Mercurians have always been a strong cup side and their emphatic victories in previous rounds suggest that there could be far more to come.
Our verdict: Away win.
Viriplaca Villa (Venus) vs. Telemachus Town (Tethys)
On paper, this looks like an easy draw for the Venusian giants but despite having beaten some of the largest clubs in the cosmos, Viriplaca have a surprisingly chequered record when it comes to playing supposedly weaker opposition. Last year’s cup was a case in point, having brushed aside Real Saturn and Kuiper Belt Chiefs, they then suffered a humiliating defeat at the hands of Newport County.
Town are a workmanlike side at best but they do fit the profile of teams that have beaten Villa in recent tournaments.
Our verdict: Another upset could be on the cards.
90377 Sedna AFC (Sedna) vs. Barnstoneworth United (Earth)
Sedna will certainly feel that they have a point to prove following consecutive relegations from planet to planetoid and then to trans-Uranian object and they really are a far better outfit than their lowly league status would suggest.
Barnstoneworth are the last surviving Earth based club in the tournament but their progress has been nothing short of bizarre. Originally selected due to a clerical error, they have received byes in the last three rounds due to civil unrest on Neptune, a viral outbreak on Ganymede and a comet strike on Phobos.
United manager Arthur Braithwaite told us “If we can keep on not playing the way we have been not playing, we can go all the way to Wembley. Sedna will be a difficult fixture, should it go ahead, though – we’ve played there before and there’s sod-all atmosphere.”
Our verdict: Sedna only need to turn up to win.
Matches will take place at 2839.2383.12.900 Solar Standard Time unless/until they get rescheduled for Sky Sports.