Jun 21, 2016 Sports
By Franklin Wilson
Alpha ‘The Hammer’ United came up trumps in the final of the STAG Elite League FINALE
when they downed GENESIS winners Slingerz 3-0 on kicks from the penalty mark to win the $4M first prize early Monday morning at the Leonora Track and Field Football Field, West Coast Demerara.
The sizable crowd on hand witnessed some heroic goalkeeping by Richie Richards who saved all three shots that Slingerz took following a 0-0 stalemate at the end of extra and regulation time. Richards saved shots from Murilo Barbosa, Slingerz Captain Tichard Joseph who had missed a penalty in regulation time that would have changed the shape of the match, and Devon Millington.
On the other hand, Alpha were flawless from the spot by sinking all three of theirs through Captain Dwight Peters, Andrew Murray and Delon Lanferman who was red carded (2nd yellow) just after scoring and celebrated by knocking the corner flag out of the ground.
Millington who took his kick just before Lanferman celebrated in the same manner but did not receive a card.
The third place match ended in victory for the Tucville based Fruta Conquerors over Pele 3-2 after a 1-1 score line after the first half. Eon Alleyne had given Conquerors the lead after 5 minutes of play but Pele neutralised that advantage in the 38th minute through their most
experienced player, Gregory ‘Jackie Chan’ Richardson.
A beautifully taken header from Dennis Edwards sent Conquerors back into the lead at 2-1 thanks to a well directed cross from Brazilian Vagner Santos in the fourth minutes in the second half.
That advantage was increased further by Jermaine Junor in the 69th minute as Conquerors went a step closer to securing the 3rd prize of One Million dollars which they eventually did despite a 90th minute penalty that was converted by Pele’s custodian Devon Charles but it was a case of too little too late.
The championship match between the top two sides in the country started at a hectic pace with both teams taking the fight to each other. It was Alpha however, which would have the first real shot at goal, Daniel Wilson’s missile going wide of the target.
Two solid goalkeepers on either end of the field in Richie Richards (Alpha) and Winslow McDowall (Slingerz) were the perfect foils as neither team relented. For Slingerz, Trayon Bobb was his usual nippy and skillful self.
Creating chances have never been a problem for the teams on the night but the standard of finishing continues to be the biggest challenge for the Technical staff of both teams as their players made promising runs but spilled their opportunities in the attacking third, all night long.
All the big guns proved to be ineffective on a windy Father’s night; Devon Millington, Julian
Wade and company for Slingerz along with Alpha’s Andrew Murray, Anthony Abrams, Wilson and others.
Both sides utilized their full quota of substitutions in regulation time as they sought to find the winning goal. With new FIFA rules coming into play from June 1st which speaks to a 4th sub in extra time, Alpha and then Slingerz activated that rule but even that did not bring the desired results which meant that kicks from the penalty mark was the next option to decide the winner.
Most of the momentum went Slingerz’ way in the second half but that shifted in the final period of extra time Alpha’s way and this is what the FINALE champions were able to make work for them as they prevailed unhindered from the spot.
With Alpha now prevailing as winners of the FINALE and Slingerz, champs of the GENESIS, it necessitates a third clash to determine the outright winners of the league. This match will be played in the coming days and fans are in for another huge treat.
That apart these two sides will be Guyana’s representative teams at the CFU Club championships level next year.
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