CPFC win the inaugural Taiwanese Second Division and gain promotion to the Premier League


The final round of Taiwanese Second Division have concluded and CPFC (台灣中油足球隊) have finished the season as champions.

CPFC go full season unbeaten

CPFC were favourites going into the first version of the Taiwan Second Division due to the backing they had behind them from CPC Petrol Company (Taiwan's major petrol company/petrol station owner) which put them ahead of the other 7 teams competing for the title, and that 1 automatic promotion spot to the Premier League. 

That's not to say that no other team in the league has no backing at all, because that would be a lie. No other team, however, could match CPFC for sponsorship. CPFC still had to do the business on the pitch though, regardless of better sponsorship or whatever people like myself want to say, they had to make sure they put up results to match the backing they were getting, and CPFC hasn't disappointed in this aspect. 

To go a whole season in any league is no mean feat, no matter what level you are playing at, and no matter how many matches are played in a season. In the Taiwan Second Division, the number of matches may only stand at 14, which is small compared to some leagues. The stats, however, speak for themselves in regards to how well CPFC have done throughout their campaign. 

The final league table for CPFC reads, played 14, won 13, drew 1, lost 0, GF 73, GA 4, GD +69, points, 40. There can be no argument at all, CPFC is worthy winners of the Taiwan Second Division. It is now going to be interesting to see if they manage to retain their place in the Premier League next season.  

Mingchuan University fate out of their own hands

Mingchuan University currently occupies a bottom spot in the Taiwan Premier League on 5 points, and as things stand, if they finish the season there, will be relegated and find themselves in the second division for the first time. Red Lions are the team placed 7th, one spot above Mingchaun and are the team they are aiming to overtake but matters aren't in their own hands anymore. 

Mingchuan is on five points, and Red Lions have nine. That means that Mingchuan needs to win both their matches against Tatung, and Taichung Futuro (two of the best sides in the league). This outcome looks unlikely, however, if that outcome does happen - Red Lions would then have to not pick up any wins themselves. 8th (last place) is automatic relegation, and 7th (second last) puts you into a playoff match against 2nd place in the Taiwan Second Division. With the winner of that match playing in the Premier League. 

Dropping into the second division is a much better outcome than having no league to play in at all. Previously, Taiwan had no Second Division and teams getting 'relegated' had no league at all to play in, other than the locally organized amateur leagues. 

Therefore relegation is better than being relegated to 'nothing' but the fear for Mingchuan, if it is them who are to be relegated this season, is that they may find it tough to get back into the Premier League than ever before. Previously they'd enter a 4 team playoff, and had to be 2 of the best teams from 4, now they will have to play a 14 game season, and the best team out of 8 to ensure they are automatically back in the Premier League. 

The Second Division is massive progress for Taiwanese football, and it allows more teams to compete, and it also balances out the levels, meaning the teams who are often bottom of the Taiwan Premier League every season now have something very real to worry about. This will hopefully raise the level for all involved. 

We do hope that the current teams involved in both divisions that now make up the Taiwanese football pyramid stick with it, because some of the scorelines have looked horrendous for certain teams, but it is definitely a breakthrough moment for football on this island. If teams have the willingness to persevere, then improvement can come over time, along with support and sponsors. Or they could jack it in and give up. These are pivotal moments for Taiwanese football, and the Taiwan Second Division is a massive part of this. 

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