Macau Elite League has reached the end, with one more season concluded it is time to do a round up of the highs and lows, the teams that managed to achieve a good season or the ones that underachieved.
The 2019 Macau league started with some bad news first it was the confirmation that Benfica Macau would not play the AFC Cup and with it the board decided to not invest for the next season and play with a squad almost entirely composed by local players. The other bad news was the Macau FA announcement that all league matches were going to be played in the Lin Fong stadium, which is the third stadium in the Macau territory, due to some construction works in the other stadiums meaning that the football quality was compromised. Finally it was also decided that all league matches would be played in week days in which was a Macau FA tentative of bringing more people to the stadium.
With the Benfica Macau disinvestment, C.P.K. were clearly the pre-season favorites, composed by the better squad and with higher budget the club which was trying to win the championship for many years had here the perfect shot to conquer the title. That what exactly happen, without many difficulties C.P.K. won their first ever Macau Elite League title with two match days remaining, being clearly the better team during the entire season finishing the league with an advantage of 10 points.
The best of the rest was Ching Fung that won the battle for the vice-championship against Benfica Macau and Monte Carlo, the three clubs had a great fight during the season, but in the end Ching Fung got the advantage. Benfica Macau finished in third, the former Macau champions had a year in which they are not used for, getting out of the title race early in the season but never loosing the pace for the direct adversaries. Monte Carlo were during a major part of the season the only club that looked capable of looking C.P.K. in the eyes, but in the third part of the league Monte Carlo lost the momentum and finished in 4th.
In the middle of the table finished 3 clubs, Ka I which were one of the biggest underachievers of the league with many internal problems finished in 5th trailing C.P.K. by 20 points. In 6th finished Hang Sai, the club promised a lot during the pre-season with a considerable budget but the lack of experience in the top league made them finish safely in the middle of the table. Sporting Macau which did what they have proposed for, claimed the 7th spot of the table after a slow start of the season Sporting managed to have a safe season finishing many points away from relegation battle and even winning their first ever “derby” against Benfica.
The relegation fight was composed by only two teams, since Macau U23 finished bottom of the table with only 3 points being the first team relegated, meaning that the remaining spot was going to be decided between Policia and Tim Iec. Tim Iec was one of the new clubs that promised a lot during the pre-season, but like Hang Sai the lack of experience in the top division dragged them to the relegation battle. Policia looked like they were the second team to be relegated during the biggest part of the season, but in the end they have managed to make a great escape and in the last matchday Policia grabbed the necessary points to safety, sentencing Tim Iec to the second division.
Finally the top scorer award was conquered by two players, Diego Patriota from C.P.K. and William Gomes from Ching Fung finished the season with 16 goals each, meaning that there are two winners for the prize.
Next season Casa de Portugal and Lun Lok will join the big guns, both clubs were promoted from the second division, and both have decent squads to have a good fight in the Elite League. It will be important to see if C.P.K. will be able to play the AFC Cup which is also a great boost to improve the game in Macau.