Pele down Riddim Squad for third place
Devon Millington scored both goals for debutant Bakewell Slingerz as
they defeated main favourites Alpha United 2 – 0 at the Guyana National Stadium on Easter Sunday as the Vergenoegen based club pocketed $2M and the 25th Kashif and Shanghai Football title.
The win meant that after falling three times to the ‘Hammers’, Slingerz have finally beaten their foes in a match that was highly anticipated and regarded as the biggest final in the history of the Kashif and Shanghai tournament.
Also, Slingerz became only the second local team after Topp XX (1994/1995) to win the tournament on debut.
The promoters described the meeting between the two sides as the Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao of local football and a after a 30 minutes delay due to power failure to three light towers at the Providence venue, fans ‘dream final’ was on the way.
By virtue of their dominance in local football over the years, Alpha United went into the
contest rated number one and Coach Wayne ‘Wiggy’ Dover’s men had the games’ first attempt on goal.
Skipper Gregory ‘Jackie Chan’ Richardson manoeuvred his way between Colin Nelson and King Solomon Austin but his shot from just on the edge of the six yards box was hit too hard and went over the bar and into the VIP area.
A minute later, Richardson again then got around his defenders and this time picked out Sheldon Holder whose attempt was also hit too hard and went wide of the goal.
In the 14th minute Vurlon Mills, could’ve given Slingerz the lead when he slid around defenders Kirk Duckworth and Jamaal Smith with some smooth footwork but his shot went trickling past the goal mouth after it had already beaten Ronson Williams in goal for Alpha United.
The crowd rose to their feet in appreciation and remained when Mills, this time from a free-kick taken by Tichard Joseph from approximately 25 yards out, connected his header that forced Williams to make a save.
Several attempts by both teams came up short and saw the first half finishing goalless and the huge crowd at the venue didn’t had to wait long for the game’s first goal when the second stanza resumed.
Millington 11 minutes into the second half (56th minute) intercepted a pass from Holder some 25 yards from goal on the right side of the pitch and used a ‘Cristiano Ronaldo’ like ‘step-over’ to get the ball on his ‘sweet foot’ and hammered a shot past Williams who had no chance of getting a glove on the ball.
Pandemonium broke out in the stands as Millington and his teammates celebrated.
However the Caribbean Football Union (CFU) club Championship bound Alpha United quickly responded when Panamanian Manuel Vargas latched on to the ball 30 yards out and like his club’s alias, hammered a right footed strike that forced Akel Clarke to pull off a brilliant save.
Alpha United kept their foot on the gas in their hunt for an equaliser but Bakewell Slingerz defenders were resolute to the task at the back.
With time ticking away for Alpha United, Millington knocked the wind out their sails with his second goal of the night in the 90+3 minute.
The fourth official had signalled five minutes of extra time added to the contest and Alpha United already in desperation mode; threw every player forward, including goalkeeper Williams after winning a corner kick.
Alpha’s plans and strategy to get an equaliser would also see them conceding their second goal when Millington picked up a loose ball from the corner kick and raced past Jamaal Smith followed by Shevane Seaforth who was unsuccessful in stopping the Slingerz talisman that was left with a empty goal to score in since Williams could not reach back between the uprights in time.
It was a goal that once again sparked jubilation around the ground given the fact that it meant that Slingerz FC won the Kashif and Shanghai tournament in their first outing.
Meanwhile, in the third place playoff Pele defeated Riddim Squad 2 – 1 to take home the trophy and $500,000 while the Mocha Arcadia side had to settle for $250,000.
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