Western Tigers have ended as the only unbeaten team and their reward was a whopping Two Million Dollars as the top prize for the just ended Stag Nations Cup knock-out football championship which attracted teams from five associations and sanctioned by the Guyana Football Federation.
The Tigers caged and subsequently hammered into submission Santos Football Club 3-0, the losers eventually ending the championship match with 9 men after two of their players including their most prized possession, Job Caesar were sent packing via the red card route.
Caesar who was effectively nullified during the match, eventually lost his composure and focus on the match in the 63rd minute when he elbowed Western Tigers’ Jamal Pedro in full view of the Referee who had no hesitation in issuing a straight red card.
At the time of the card, Santos were already trailing 2-0 on account of well taken goals by the rampant Tigers who never allowed their opponents to settle down and piece passes together.
From the first whistle it was clear that both coaches, as they had said before were relying on the tactical acumen of their charges to deliver the goods for them. Santos, featuring a brigade of youths were coming up against a Tigers unit not void of experience which was what made the difference between the two sides, ultimately.
With the match just over half an hour old, the Tigers were well on their way to pocketing the grand prize as they were already 2-0 up.
They got their first off the boot of Anthony Sancho on 25 minutes and that advantage was quickly doubled in the 32nd minute, thanks to a dagger like goal from the nagging Randolph Wagner.
Even though Santos never showed signs of allowing the confident Tigers to impose their will by putting in a few enterprising raids of their own, with each passing minute the task of responding goal wise, looked more bleak as Western’s players nullified every attempt of Santos on goal.
The West Ruimveldt fans also helped to energise their team on a beautiful evening for football witnessed by a colourful crowd.
While both teams showed good organisation in offence and defence, it was the Western unit which looked the better oiled side with more punchy plays and a desire to win. The Tigers were also effective in shutting out Santos’ main weapon, the diminutive Caesar whose mental fortitude eventually waned as he was evicted from the match when his presence would have mattered.
It was always going to be an uphill task for Santos to come back to erase a 2-0 deficit, let alone win the match. Any thoughts of mounting a comeback were effectively thrown out the game venue when Western scored their third goal in the 78th minute, thanks to Shane Morris’ effort.
But even before the third goal, Santos found themselves a man short when Caesar was sent off. They did not help their cause in crunch time when yet another player, Vashile Cantilaar was sent packing by Referee Gladwyn Johnson in the 81st minute.
It was all over for Santos with 9 minutes to full time; Western earning the top prize of Two Million Dollars and Santos, despite the loss, pocketed $1 Million.
Earlier, the third place match-up between the Guyana Police Force (GPF) and Riddim Squad saw the Police arresting the Mocha based Riddm Squad 2-1 to take home the third place prize of $500,000 with $300,000 going to the losers.
Quinsi Holder netted both goals for Police, while Riddim Squad’s consolation strike came off the boot of Rawl Ramsaey in the 42nd minute, the game effectively sealed in the first half. The second half produced end to end action with Riddim Squad creating lots of opportunities but were kept at bay by the lawmen.
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