Team Guyana, Albouystown favoured to advance to final
- fans urged to maintain good behaviour
By Rawle Welch
Team Guyana (Back Circle) could not ask for better preparations ahead of next month’s inaugural Caribbean Guinness Street Challenge Football Tournament after witnessing the high quality of play exhibited during the warm-up competition which climaxes tonight with semi-finals and final action, at the National Cultural Centre Tarmac, starting from 20:00 hrs.
The defending ‘Guinness ‘Greatest of the Streets’ champions looked clinical in their opening performance, before surrendering to the in-form Albouystown unit led by the prolific Andrew Murray Jnr, but they bounced back into winners’ circle in their next clash against another solid team in Tiger Bay which must have boosted their morale ahead of tonight’s semi-final encounter against an inconsistent D’urban Street side in the first game of the night.
In the other semi-final, tournament favourites Albouystown, who has displayed terrific form since the start of the tournament will collide with a resurgent Island All Stars and this matchup has all the hallmarks of an explosive clash.
The opening game should see Team Guyana, by virtue of their superior individual abilities start as favourites with the likes of Daniel Favourite, Vincent Thomas, B. Pedro, Allan Kennedy and Phillip Rowley in their line-up.
Favourite has been on the score-sheet consistently, while Thomas and Kennedy are both capable of playing admirable supportive roles and could be a dangerous duo if given the space to operate.
D’urban Street, who gained their first win in the competition in the final round of the preliminary phase after beating the high-touted Alexander Village on penalty kicks could view that result as the turning point in their fortunes and Team Guyana will be well advised to take them seriously and not go into the contest over-confident.
Goal-scorer in their previous match Jamal Hunte is a cunning and crafty player and capable of netting from difficult angles.
Albouystown versus Island All Stars should be a crowd pleaser, despite the former already holding bragging rights after defeating them in the preliminary rounds.
What more could be expected from the classy Murray, who has scored in every match to date and has clearly demonstrated the ability to be classified as one of the best exponents of the street format.
Murray, a former national footballer is a class above the rest and with the support of Shaka John and Renault Fraser, they are almost impossible to beat.
Island All Stars have found form and momentum late and could be seen as peeking at the right time with lucrative prize monies now at stake.
Orson McCurdy, Eusi Phillips and company will no doubt be looking to register the upset so Albouystown just as is the case with Team Guyana will be advised to take their opponents seriously because too much is at stake now.
Every venue has been well supported with fans bursting the fringes of the playing area and come tonight the situation should be no different.
Meanwhile, the Organisers have extended thanks to all the fans that’ve attended the matches so far for their good behavior and called on them to exhibit similar conduct during the staging of the finals.
The tournament that carries a first prize of $200,000, while the second, third and fourth placed finishers will take away $100,000, $50,000 and $25,000 respectively.
Meanwhile, the teams that failed to make it to tonight’s segment will each be presented with $15,000.