Alpha United will have to wait for another year before they can put their hands on the Inter Guiana Club Championship trophy following their second defeat in as many matches at the 4th edition of the tournament on Thursday night in French Guiana where it started four years ago.
The top Guyanese club surrendered to Suriname’s number one Inter Moengotapoe 10-11 on sudden penalty kicks following a 3-3 tie in regulation time; both teams ending the epic with ten players.
Based on the rules of the tournament, penalty kicks will be employed if there is no result at the end of full time.
It was an improved performance from Alpha following their 3-0 whipping by French Guiana champions US Matoury on Tuesday night at the same venue, the Stade Edmard Lama in Remire Montjoly.
‘The Hammer’ came out much more purposeful against Moengotapoe with two changes made to the starting line-up; Andrew Murray coming in for Shawn Bishop and Keon Sears for Alpha Sylvester.
The game started with the Guyanese side asserting themselves against their Surinamese counterparts who had fallen to another Guyanese side, Milerock, in the early stages of the CFU Club Champions Cup which Alpha has made history in by becoming the first Guyana Club to make to the CONCACAF Round.
Playing with a depleted side here did not daunt the spirits of the Guyanese however, as they upped the level of their game against the Surinamese. The wet field following heavy showers before and during the game did not affect the play with Alpha controlling the ball admirably.
But as it turned out, concentration was going to be their biggest challenge against a team that was more focused but beatable.
Warren Gilkes it was who according to the referee handled the ball in the 38th minute in the area resulting in a penalty which Moengotapoe’s Captain Adilio Vrede comfortably hit past Richard Reynolds.
Even though they were trailing, the young Alpha side with a few seasoned players in Captain Anthony Abrams, Shawn Bishop and Reynolds, still were having the better of the play.
Murray sent a ball flying wide of the mark in the 41st minute that would have evened the scores which eventually happened in the 1st minute of added on time.
Abrams, who has been out of sorts for quite some time finally looked like the old Abrams most defenders and goalkeepers fear. He received a ball in just above the arc at the top of the box, skillfully turned and let it fly beating the keeper to the right. Alpha 1 Inter 1 when the whistle was sounded to end the half.
The positive nature of play for the Guyanese overflowed into the final half but lapses again would be the cause of the Surinamese taking the lead, this time it was the goalie Reynolds who was the culprit. In the 49th minute from a throw off, Kelvin McKenzie sent the ball to Reynolds who should have quickly kicked the ball up-field but strangely choose to hold the ball a bit too long allowing an opposing player to advance, gained a touch with the rebound from the right side of goal flying into the open nets – Moengotapoe 2 Alpha 1.
Alpha’s woes were to continue in the 58th minute when Murray deliberately tried to clear the ball off the goal line from a corner, he was sent off and a penalty awarded which Inter Captain again put away comfortably – Moengotapoe 3 Alpha 1.
Abrams continued to show good form by taking the ball to the opponents and was able to draw a foul in the box when he was brought down by the goalkeeper Maldo Kwassi. Abrams took the shot himself and was successful – Alpha 2 Moengotapoe 3.
With Alpha one player short, they still were able to hold their own and kept the pressure up on their opponents. Abrams again let off a fierce shot in the 69th minute but the ball was punched away by the goalie at the near post.
Bishop was introduced in the 76th minute for Keon Sears; his presence added some more life to the midfield. Four minutes later, Moengotapoe were also reduced to 10 players, Steven Dima was sent marching for a dangerous play against Reynolds.
Travis Grant had an opportunity to draw his team level in the 87th minute having had the space and time, but his shot was sent over the cross bar.
This final 5 minutes saw Alpha creating quite a few openings as the rush was on for the equalizer which they were rewarded with in the 88th minute. Collecting a well directed pass in center of the opponents half was Bishop from Clive Andries, the former eased to ball to his left foot and the ensuing shot rocketed into the back of the nets. Alpha 3 Moengotapoe 3.
Andries was replaced by Grumble in the first minute of added on time which amounted to six minutes but the scores remained unchanged.
Penalty kicks thereafter was a tight affair with both teams flawless after the first five; missing one each during the next five (sudden death). Shot number 11 by Bishop was saved by Moengo’s goalie with Reynolds failing to stop shot number 11 for the Surinamese.
The game in itself might be historical in the sense that all the players on the pitch had to kick before a result was achieved. Good game for both teams but Alpha can only blame themselves for the lapses which eventually cost them.
At this level there is not much room for errors which comes back to haunt you as Alpha United knows all too well.
They will now face French Guiana’s Gelder de Kourou in their final game today while Inter Moengotapoe will oppose US Matoury.
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