By Michael Benjamin
A brilliant display of attacking football earned the Guyana Defence Force a
hard fought 3-1 victory against Black Pearl FC when action in the GFA/Banks Beer Cup round robin knockout tournament continued at the GDF Ground, Thomaslands last Wednesday evening.
The main feature of the double header saw Pele FC stamping its dominance with a clinical display that brought the Flamingos to the ground after a 3-1 beating. Tyson Carmichael (42), Nigel Braithwaite (76) and Clifford Garraway (90+ 2) were the soldiers’ marksmen while Mark Correga narrowed the victory margin with Black Pearl’s only contribution in the 53rd minute. The soldiers approached the match from the first whistle as if engaged in jungle warfare. The confrontations were furious as both teams attacked purposefully but with tightened security in both defensive quarters, goals were hard to come by.
Carmichael then charged down the field, eluding everyone in his path but encountered a stiff challenge from Black Pearl’s custodian. Demonstrating superb presence of mind, the wily striker changed his angle of approach and as the Black Pearl custodian slid past the ball, Carmichael deftly punched it aback the nets.
Undaunted, Black Pearl’s front men continued to toil and the equalizer was a replica of the first goal but for the principals; Correga took on the advancing goalie and deftly placed the ball around him.
The match then assumed a ferocious pace as both teams tried to grab the initiative. The soldiers marched on in the second session after Braithwaite latched on to a loose ball and his shot cannoned into the right side of the goal while the Black Pearl goalie marked the left post.
Thereafter, the soldiers relentlessly pressed on but their over enthusiasm cost them a few goals as wayward kicks either slid down the side of the goal or were intercepted by the opposition’s defence.
The final goal was a classic; Garraway collected a pass on the left flank and struck with his left foot. The shot was piston-like, flew past the goalie and almost ruptured the network; the players were already into extra time and the dreaded whistle simultaneously sealed the Black Pearl’s fate.
Omalo Williams was a thorn in the side of the Flamingo defence and his first raid was met by a vigilant Flamingo custodian who spoiled the shot with a magnificent save. Not to be denied, the persistent Williams dribbled his way into the opposition’s quarters once again and this time he made no mistake, pasting the goalie with a fierce shot that opened Pele’s account.
The dapper striker starred once again and less than two minutes after his first success with an enterprising raid but the Flamingo custodian held on to the stinging shot. The ferocious battle for supremacy continued but neither of the two teams budged and just when it appeared that Pele would have enjoyed the advantage at intermission, Sheldon Gorrick sent in a thunderous strike 5 minutes before the halfway mark to keep the battle intricately poised at the halfway mark.
The battle picked up pace in the second session as both teams attacked and counter attacked albeit without success. With the clock ticking away and the match heading for a stalemate, Jermaine Sutton struck in the 68th minute to send Pele ahead.
Flamingo refused to say die and upped the ante but when Godfrey Powers slammed in Pele’s third goal with just seven minutes on the clock, The ‘Flamingos’ seemed defeated and found it difficult to fly. The whistle shortly afterwards sealed their fate.
Activities resume this evening when the Guyana Police Force tackles Black Water moments before Alpha United face off with Northern Rangers. Activities move to Tucville Ground tomorrow evening when Houston Stars take on Fruta Conquerors and GFC play Western Tigers. The latter two matches were scheduled for Sunday evening but the organizers have shifted the fixtures to accommodate the finals of the Guinness in the Street tournament scheduled for that night.
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