By Rawle Welch
When Eusi Phillips unleashed his right-foot missile that blew past defenders and goalkeeper one minute before full time, it was a clear signal that Sparta Boss were not ready to abdicate the monarchy just yet.
The reigning Futsal champions have not been in peak form throughout the tournament, but their tenacity and experience continue to be the difference between them and opposing teams and their 3-2 triumph over imminent contender Future Stars were irrefutable evidence of those two important assets.
Playing in front of another large crowd in the Xtreme Clean & Maintenance /GT Beer ‘Gold Rush’ Futsal Tournament, at the National Gymnasium, the two teams clashed in the final game of the night and what a game it was as they stood toe to toe in an encounter that was littered with end to end action.
Sparta Boss were the first to enter the scoresheet when talisman Devon Millington sprinted on to a pass, before hitting a fierce right-footer into the left corner of the goal in the 4th minute.
However, one of the starts of the future, Jeremy Garrett’s response was sensational as he let loose a ripper from the right side following a pass from centerfield two minutes later to level the match.
Both teams’ missed opportunities to take the lead as the excitement reached fever pitch with the respective band of supporters screaming instructions from the stands.
Sheldon Shepherd then broke the deadlock in the 17th minute, finishing clinically after being fed through by Millington to make it 2-1 in Sparta’s favour.
Searching for the equaliser, Future Stars threw everything at Sparta’s defence, but the champs confidently shut down all attempts, before Keron Solomon silenced their supporters when he hammered a cracking shot into the goal four minutes from full time.
Once again, the champs answered and their reply came one minute before the final whistle with the Phillips rocket to seal a berth in the semis where they face the tournament’s most in-form team Albouystown.
Albouystown, the only team to win all their matches, squeezed past a stubborn Broad Street 2-1 with Roy Cassou and Marlon Nedd’s 8th and 12th minute strikes proving just enough to take them over the line, while Samuel Hunte’s 5th minute effort threatened to spring an upset.
Another team that are playing at a high level is Tucville that thrashed favourites Back Circle 6-3 with Jermaine Junior continuing his fine form, firing in a pair in the 25th and 28th minutes, while Delon Williams, Jahaal Greaves, Tefon Daly and Ryan Hackett each supported with a goal apiece in the third, fourth, 17th and 27th minutes.
Selwyn Williams, Curtez Kellman and Jermaine Beckles were the players on target in the 10th, 21st and 26th minutes respectively for Back Circle.
Tucville will now face Sophia in a rematch that is likely to provide entertaining action from the first whistle.
Sophia showed what great form they are in presently with a convincing 4-1 win over Bent Street.
Desmond Cottam netted two goals in the fifth and 17th minutes, while Omallo Williams had a similar tally, scoring his in the 28th and 30th minutes.
Orandel Williams made the lone response for Bent Street, netting in the 25th minute.
The winning team takes home $500,000 and the championship trophy, while second, third and fourth placed finishers collect $200,000, $100,000 and $50,000 respectively.
The tournament’s Most Valuable Player will receive $50,000.
Among the other sponsors on board are: Fas Grafix, Jefford’s Distribution and Sales, Giftland Distribution Store, Windjammer International Cuisine & Hotel and FARMSUP Mining Investments Inc.
The final will be played on June 17, at the same venue.
Among the other sponsors on board are: Fas Grafix, Jefford’s Distribution and Sales, Giftland Distribution Store and FARMSUP Mining Investments Inc.
The night’s full results:
Broad Street-1 vs Albouystown-2
Bent Street-1 vs Sophia-4
Desmond Cottam-5th and 17th
Omallo Williams-28th and 30th
Tucville-6 vs Back Circle-3
Jermaine Junior-25th and 28th
Back Circle Scorers
Sparta Boss-3 vs Future Stars-2
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