Alpha United drub Cougars 10-1,
Fruta Conquerors edge Rupununi
By Michael Benjamin
Alpha ‘The Hammer’ United, led by an Elton Browne 5 goal blitz in the 54th, 57th, 71st, 76th and 80th minutes, meted out a 10-1 drubbing to Cougars United of Berbice, leaving them bruised and toothless when play in the 19th edition of the Kashif and Shanghi football tournament continued at the Plaisance Community Centre Ground on Wednesday evening.
Brown received support from Kithson Bain, who found the back of the net in the 5th and 11th minutes and Andrew Murray, who also netted a double, in the 21st and 38th, while Dwayne Jacobs completed the onslaught with an 89th minute strike.
Cougars did manage to salvage some pride with a 77-minute effort from Winston Benjamin but his goal failed to pacify the embarrassment suffered by his team.
Alpha underlined their dominance from the onset when Bain sprinted down the centre 5 minutes into the game and struck the ball with unerring accuracy. He returned 6 minutes later to register goal number two.
Murray then got into the act and dribbled down the right wing to make it 3-nil for the defending champions. The score line would have widened 5 minutes later when the Cougars goalie attempted to wrestle the ball from the opposition and ended up several meters wide of his berth. The strike by Murray had goal written all over it but luckily the Cougar’s defence sprung in and headed the ball to safety.
Not to be deterred, the persistent Murray launched a second attack seven minutes short of the half time whistle to widen the score-line at the interval 4-0.
Browne opened his account 9 minutes into the second half with a dolly that went wide of the Cougars goalie and into the nets. By now, the fans were getting disgusted at the relative ease with which the defending champions were piercing the opposition’s goal. Apparently sensing the crowd’s impatience the Cougars launched a raid on the opposition’s goal but some good work by the Alpha custodian averted a disaster. Three minutes later Browne demonstrated how it ought to be done, scoring the third, of his tally. Jacobs then took over and rocked the opposition’s goal in the 89th minute, moments before the final whistle sounded and put the Cougars out of their misery.
Earlier in the night, Fruta Conquerors were forced to labour for their eventual one-nil triumph over Rupununi All Stars. The lads from Region # 9 put up a spirited battle and had they perfected their conversion skills the story would have been much different.
Judging from the pre-game comments it was obvious that no one felt that the Rupununi team could have pulled it off. The general consensus among football buffs was that the match would have been lopsided in Fruta’s favour.
From the onset, the Rupununi team played with an alacrity that belied this belief. They managed to finish the first half without conceding a goal, which spoke volumes for their defensive tactics. That they lacked the finer art of the sport was evident on several occasions, none more glaring than the one seven minutes into the second half.
Robert Melville thundered down to the opposition’s goal and was on the verge of shooting a certain goal when he was unfairly brought down by the opposition. The subsequent free kick failed to pass the Fruta defence.
Five minutes later John Joseph dived head first for a ball struck from the right wing but was unlucky to see the ball sliding down the right side of the goalpost. If there is anything that can be said of the Rupununi boys is that they may be short of many things but determination is certainly not one of them.
In a post match comment coach Allan LaRose complimented the team on their high level of determination. He said that even though he is satisfied with the fight put up by his team, his chances of winning were compromised after left back, George Bobb, pulled a hamstring that forced him out of the game.
LaRose said that he was forced to turn to Ricardo Martin but the replacement was not as competent as Bobb. “Admittedly, we messed up quite a few times but I still think that if Bobb had not sustained that injury we would have pulled it off,” LaRose contended.
A large crowd that included Minister of Youth and Sports Dr. Frank Anthony and Parliamentary Secretary, Steve Ninvalle watched the game.
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