Paradise Invaders, which ended with 5 points and atop of Group ‘A’, will engage Cougars
FC, the winner of Group ‘B’ with 4 points, in Saturday’s final of the Berbice Football Association/J’s Golden Arrow U-20 Tourney at the All Saints (Scotts School) ground, New Amsterdam, under lights.
Meeting for the third place trophy are the respective runner-up of the two groups, New Amsterdam United and Hopetown United. Orealla United ended in 5th place with Young Strikers bringing up the rear.
The tournament’s leading goal scorer to date, Shaqueel De Harte, who has three will lead Paradise’ quest to lift the winner’s trophy come Saturday. NA United’s Jamal Butts and Kevon Williams as well as Matthew Doris of Hopetown United Rangers each have two goals apiece.
Meanwhile, the final two preliminary round matches ended in exciting draws, last weekend.
Young Strikers showed marked improvement from their last outing when they were hammered 5-0 by Paradise Invaders to earn an exciting 1-1 draw against New Amsterdam United before the latter earned a win via kicks from the penalty mark.
Played in constant rain during most of the second half, the match was evenly poised at the end of the first half of 40 minutes as neither team was able to score. However, NA United’s Kevon Williams slotted home in the 49th minute and Young Strikers’ Akeem Munroe responded in like manner in the 78th minute to tie the score.
To decide the winner, kicks from the penalty mark were required and at the end, it was NA United
which prevailed against the newcomers from the Central Corentyne area playing in their first major tournament, to register 2 points to 1 in the losers favour.
The downpour continued intermittently throughout the second match between Cougars FC and Orealla Falcons. It was the Corentyne River lads who seemed to be able to adapt better to the soggy conditions created by the waterlogged field to put early pressure on Cougars.
It was not surprising when the Orealla player Brinsley Rajnarine found the back of the Cougars net as early as the 4th minute from a well-placed right foot shot to the left of the keeper’s outstretched hand.
Cougars then launched an all-out attack but it was not until the 25th minute off the boot of Xavier Johnson from the penalty mark after an Orealla defender committed an infringement inside the 18yds box were they able to strike.
The second half saw the crowd getting behind Orealla which had won them over with their first half display. This gave them impetus which saw a real battle of wills between the two teams. The score remained 1-1 at the end of regulation time so kicks from the penalty mark were taken.
The Orealla goalkeeper managed to block the shot taken by his Cougars counterpart so the crowd waited with bated breath when it was his turn. He did not disappoint and sent a neat shot into the far right hand corner. Orealla went on to win 4-3.
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