Jan 03, 2012 Sports
The theory which advocates that sports and politics are combustible mixes and should not be experimented with, was forcefully exemplified when Guyanese responded to a boycott call by the youth arm of A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) and stayed away from the K&S football finals at the National Stadium, Providence Sunday evening last.
The action got underway at just around 18:00hrs and despite the uncharacteristically meager attendance, some degree of positives were accrued from the dismal state of affairs after Caledonia AIA of Trinidad and Tobago turned in a determined display to slide past Pele FC 2-0 and lift the championship trophy and the first prize offering of a pound of good Guyana gold. This was shortly after the culmination of the curtain raiser where Milerock FC dished out a similar beating to their village team Amelia’s Ward to take the final podium prize of $500,000 and trophy put up by Prime Minister, Samuel Hinds.
Devon Jostling sent Caledonia AIA one up in the 74th minute, while Jamal Gay stitched in the decider in the 83rd minute. In the game to determine the third place position Randolph Jerome and Randy Small were the players that made the difference with strikes in the 60th and 68th minutes respectively.
As anticipated, the Caledonia AIA/Pele duel commenced at a fast clip with both teams attempting to grab the initiative. The opening salvoes were ferocious as both sides attempted to make definitive statements. Trevin Caesar, the prolific striker that has tormented his team’s adversaries in earlier games, was his old bustling self but the Pele players had his number and kept him under close scrutiny. He failed to breach the opposition’s goal but refused to be kept quiet.
Naturally, he proved his usefulness and during one of the early salvoes the dapper striker collected a pass and raced down the right wing. He delivered a pinpoint cross but with none of his teammates in place to capitalize, the opportunity was wasted. It was certainly not his night as Caesar received another dolly of a pass and sprinted to the opposition’s goal only to be checked by Pele’s strong defensive lineup.
In the meantime, Gay was passing the ball around and awaiting the scoring opportunities. When his chance came he sprinted to the goal but the advancing opposition defence forced him into an early shot which slammed into the crossbar and rebounded into play.
Pele’s strikers were also hard at work with Gregory ‘Jackie Chan’ Richardson, Devon Millington and Konata Manning working in tandem to create an opportunity. Richardson made the breakthrough and weaved his way to the opposition’s goal. Recognizing the difficulty in getting pass Caledonia’s defence cordon, he passed the ball to Manning whose powerful kick slammed into, and threatened to break the crossbar. Despite spirited raids by both sides the teams went into the interval deadlocked at nil all when in fact the score should have really been 3 goals apiece but for the missed opportunities.
The Trinidadians entered the second half with gusto and no sooner had the whistle sounded that Abuallah Guerra weaved his way through the opposition’s defence in what appeared to be a sure chance but botched the opportunity as the ball sailed over the crossbar. It should have been 2 nil shortly afterwards when the same player dribbled to the goal but with only Pele’s custodian to contend with, he lost his nerve and sliced the ball down the right side goal post.
All the while Pele was attempting to bring the situation back to equilibrium and almost succeeded when Marvin Joseph charged past Caledonia’s defence only to foil a perfect chance. Gay then slammed in his contribution after deceiving the goalie, skillfully drawing him from his berth and swiveling the ball to his right and into the goal. When Marvin Joseph sprinted to the opposition’s goal shortly afterwards it should have narrowed the score line for Pele but he only managed to replicate the blunders that have characterized his team’s mode of play that denied them the match and another hold of the prestigious trophy.
The Milerock/Amelia Ward duel was also characterized by numerous misses that sent both sides into the half devoid of a goal. Randolph ‘Blackhead’ Jerome changed his team’s fortunes in the 60th minute after he was fouled in the box and awarded a penalty which he calmly placed at the right of the goal while the ‘keeper’ sprang to the left. Goal number two was a humdinger. Randy Small intercepted a pass just outside the 18 yards box eight minutes later and performed a cartwheel reminiscent of King Pele in his heydays to send the ball cannoning into the network. It proved to be the final success for Milerock and the nail in the coffin of Amelia’s Ward.
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