Despite having to resist a stubborn Queenstown, reigning champions Lodge displayed the resilience that champions are made of after attacking to a 3-2 win in the final encounter on Day Two of the 3rd Annual Nestle Milo Under-20 Schools Football Competition which continued yesterday, at the Ministry of Education ground, Carifesta Avenue.
The champs were off and running as early as the 2nd minute when star player Ryan Hackett leaped high in the air to head past the Queenstown goalkeeper after a lobbed pass bounced around in the goal area.
Sylvester Richardson made it 2-0 after eleven minutes when he toe-punched the ball from close range following a scrimmage in the goal mouth after a free kick from the left side had landed in the danger area.
However, the Queenstown unit did not cave in, instead they attacked with real intent and Kelsy Benjamin netted in the 28th minute, ripping a thunderous freekick from just outside the centre of the box that went through the defensive wall and into the lower left hand corner after the goalkeeper had made a partial stop.
Queenstown then levelled the proceedings three minutes later through Vickram Chandranand, who delivered a scorching header from a corner that flew past the keeper.
Jarel Grannum finding space between his markers suddenly unleashed a belter that screamed right down the middle of the goal and landed safely into the back of the net to break the deadlock and re-establish the lead in favour of the champions.
His effort came in the 33rd minute of play.
They would however suffer a minor setback when defender Cosmus DeSantos received a straight red card in the 55th minute for using indecent language.
Even with their numerical disadvantage, Lodge continued to press forward and on two occasions should have stretched their lead when Hackett and Grannum each watched in agony as their powerful strikes struck the crossbar, before rebounding into play.
Earlier, Dolphin and Morgan Learning Centre went toe to toe in an entertaining slugfest that had the crowd on their feet, before eventually ended in a deserving 2-2 draw.
Leon Richardson gave Dolphin a dream start, scoring as early as the first minute, slotting home into the lower left corner with only the goalkeeper to beat.
Dolphin extended their advantage two minutes later when Joshua Ferreira scored, firing past the keeper into the lower left hand corner.
However, Morgan Learning Centre roared back with Keron Solomon making good on a penalty kick in the 28th minute from an infringement inside the box.
Ten minutes later, Wayne Murray gained the equaliser after racing on to a poor attempt to clear the ball from a Dolphin defender and lashed his effort past the keeper.
Despite both teams creating a few more chances, they both failed to capitalise on the opportunities and when the final whistle sounded the points had to be shared.
Christ Church edged Houston Secondary by a 3-2 score line with Lemuel Ross, Shamar Carrington and Brad Evans netting for the winners in the 9th, 47th and 65th minutes respectively. On target for the losers was Akosi Jarvis, who netted in the 42nd and 48th minutes.
North Ruimveldt and Richard Ishmael encounter ended in a 1-1 draw. Matthew Harrison gave North Ruimveldt the lead after twenty minutes, but Rondell Peters ensured that Richard Ishmael went to the break with the scores levelled with his goal coming in the 41st minute.
Play in the competition resumes next Saturday and Sunday, at the same venue.
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