Sunburst Camptown play Bakewell Topp XX for 3rd
Two weeks of intense battles over ten playing days will all come to what is anticipated to be an exhilarating end when the curtains come down on the 21st edition of Guyana’s Premier knockout football competition, the Kashif & Shanghai extravaganza.
Earning the honour of ending the tournament are the two best teams emerging to play in the final, Pele and Alpha United.
This would be the 4th trip for both teams to the final and they have each won it once. Tonight’s showdown however is expected to be like no other with both camps expressing confidence of going all the way to claim the top prize of Two Million Dollars cash and a Two Year Kit deal worth US$25,000 from USA based Plus One Fashions.
Alpha was devastating in their first two wins against Seawall FC (6-0) and Netrockers (5-1) before being pushed to the brink by a young Bakewell Topp XX side, eventually disposing of the Tournament’s most successful team 3-1 on penalty kicks following a 1-1 regulation and extra time score line.
Pele on the other hand, has been easing through silently with wins over Fruta Conquerors (3-0), Santos (2-0) and Sunburst Camptown (3-0). With both teams boasting a number of quality players it will be the hungrier of the two taking this year’s championship.
Offensively, Pele has their Captain and nagging forward Gregory ‘Jackie Chan’ Richardson working in tandem with the dangerous Devon Millington, who has been displaying a high level of skill and wittiness; he has scored in every game to date.
Their midfield will be led by Shawn Beveney and Travis ‘Zorro’ Grant, while in defence, the elder statesman Charles ‘Lily’ Pollard will take charge along with former Captain Dirk Archer. Former Kashif & Shanghai MVP, goalkeeper Sean Johnson, who has a clean slate to date will again stand between the uprights for Pele in their quest to lift their second championship; defeating Camptown for their first in the 2008/2009 final. Previously, they lost to Milerock (1997/1998) and Topp XX (1996/1997).
Alpha United, the leading club side in Guyana, boast a star studded line up and if they get going will be a tough side to beat.
The tournament’s leading goal scorer, Anthony ‘Awo’ Abrams who did not get going against Topp XX in the semifinals will be seeking to get it right in this game for his side and along with Grenadian striker Kithson Bain and Dwight Peters, Alpha will feel assured that they have the requisite fire power to conquer Pele’s defence.
The Brazilian duo of Claudio Da Silva and Clayton De Lima has shown what they can do in controlling the midfield backed up by Shavane Seaforth. Marshalling defence is Captain Howard Lowe; alongside him will be Kelvin McKenzie and Dwain Jacobs with the hero of their semifinal win Ronson Williams in goal.
An enthralling battle is anticipated and while many goals might not materialize, fans, supporters and the general public can expect their monies worth.
Preceding the final will be the 3rd place game between Sunburst Camptown and Bakewell Topp XX.
These two sides have had many a battle in this tournament over the years and have met in two finals with a win each to their credit.
Camptown won the 2003/2004 edition with the Linden side taking the 2000/2001 championship.
But this time around, they will be meeting for the 3rd and 4th place and an equally exciting showdown is expected.
The young Topp XX side coached by Collie Hercules will be very confident following their robust game against Alpha. Again at the helm on the field will be Kayode Mc Kinnon who did an excellent job against Alpha.
Javin Crawford, Ruel Williams, Ron Fiedtkou, Keon Sears, Michael Crandon, Quacy Johnson, Travis Waterton and Carlos Brown, who will replace custodian Richard Reynolds who suffered a broken finger in the semi final, will all be aiming to lead their team to a win.
Camptown will be without the services of Orlando Gilgeous who was sent off (2 yellow cards) in the game against Pele but will still fancy their chances of coming out victorious against a team branded the pride of Linden.
Nigel ‘Powers’ Codrington will carry the strike line working along with Devon Forde while senior statesman Troy ‘Bugs’ Prescod will take charge in midfield. Anthony Benfield, Reshawn Sandiford, Lance Rolston, Kester Allen, Leon Muir and Colin Jones will all lend support to the cause.
The national Under-20 team will play their third practice game against Riddim Squad which starts at 15:00hrs at the Stadium.
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