Jul 18, 2013 Sports
By Michael Benjamin
A clinical display of tactical football saw Santa Rosa Secondary School recovering from a 1-0 deficit to thrash Mahdia Secondary 4-1 and advance to the quarterfinal stage when action in the Digicel U-18 Inter Schools Football Championships continued at the Mabaruma Community Ground, North West District, yesterday.
Brandon Phillips netted a brace for the winners in the 44th and 46th minutes and found valuable support in Keith DaSilva and Andel Rodrigues in the 57th and 63rd minutes respectively. This was after Mahdia’s striker, Albert Daniels, scored the first goal of the game in the 41st minute.
Santa Rosa’s supporters not only filled the lone stand on the western side of the facility, but also every nook and cranny around the venue, while vociferously egging their team on. Buoyed by the support, those lads turned in a remarkable display of ball distribution that had their foes working overtime for possession.
DaSilva sent an ominous warning when he broke away in the early stages of the game after he had evaded everyone in his path and sprinted to the opposition’s berth. After working so hard he botched the chance with a tame kick that was scooped up by the Mahdia custodian.
The early exchanges were ferocious as each team attempted to grab the initiative but it was Daniels who latched onto a loose ball and struck for the underdogs and there was a distinct hush in the audience.
In the meantime, Phillips was working hard down the right flank and his efforts paid dividends shortly after Daniels’ success with a header that had success written all over it from the time he struck. The dapper striker repeated his heroics after being awarded a free kick a few meters outside the box just before the half.
It almost became 3-1 less than one minute after the resumption when Andel Rodrigues skilfully wended his way into the opposition’s berth and flicked the ball over the head of the advancing goalie and into the goal; the referee’s offside signal rendered his effort inconsequential.
Undaunted Rodrigues pottered on and his perseverance bore fruit when he collected a pass and engaged in a clever bit of dribbling before punching the ball past the Mahdia custodian.
In all fairness to the losers, they turned in a ferocious and determined display. Their loss, despite the large margin was certainly not due to incompetence; it was merely a defeat from a team that had all of the requisite tools that distinguished it as the better on that day.
The final whistle sent the throng of supporters into wild ecstasy and the celebrations and congratulatory outpourings were long and many.
Digicel Events and Sponsorship Manager, Gavin Hope travelled to the interior community to witness the match and said that he was extremely delighted by what he saw. He admitted that there is much untapped talent in the interior regions while committing his company’s continued support to similar tournaments and initiatives in the future.
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