By Calvin Chapman
Grove Hi-Tech continues to be the most exciting team in the Guyana Football Federation (GFF)/ Corona Beer Super 16 year-end classic after defeating one of the most successful 2nd division team in the country for the past two years, Police FC, to secure their place in the semifinal of the $3.75million tournament.
The Hi-Tech squad which has been boosted with talented National guest players, Curtez Kellman and Kelsey Benjamin had overcame the mighty Western Tigers 2-1 in their round-of-16 clash at the GFC ground and under damp and drizzling conditions they replicated that same 2-1 scorecard to achieve a come from behind extra-time victory at the Leonora Track and Field Facility on Wednesday night.
The game remained deadlocked until the 72nd minute when Dwayne Wilson’s flat cross into the box evaded two Hi-Tech defenders before Quincy Holder blasted home from close range with much jubilation. Twelve minutes later as Grove pressed forward looking for the equalizer, their central defensive midfielder, Orson Francois was sent off for a rash challenge to further dampen the East Bank Football Association (EBFA) based club hopes of ascension.
The ability to win the game after being a man down highlighted the fighting spirit of this talented squad which is captained by former national forward Domini Garnett, putting away all doubts of their victory against GFF elite league club Western Tigers which was touted as a fluke by many.
On the brink of full-time, Garnett fired home to cancel out Holder’s second half goal to send the game into extra-time, much to the delight of the travelling Grove fans that braved the weather to give their usual fantastic support to their team.
Police would’ve favoured their chances of beating Grove heading into the extra-time period but the eventual winners played as though they were a man up rather than being one down. Nevertheless, Police FC raided Grove’s final third on numerous occasions and if it wasn’t for the brilliance of goalkeeper Lloyd Matthews that pulled off save after save, Police could’ve easily ended that period with four or five goals.
On the whistle of the 1st half of extra-time, Garnett squandered an incredible opportunity to score a brace but after getting in behind Police defence and rounding the keeper, his shot only managed to hit the post.
Nicholai Matthews ensured Grove had the decisive goal when he chipped home a cheeky, lofted shot from around 35 yards, with the Police’s keeper off his line in a scurry for possession during the 112th minute (second period of extra time). That goal was good enough for the win as Grove Hi-Tech parked the bus and headed and cleared everything that came into their defensive half.
The first match on Wednesday at Leonora was a perfect appetizer with Fruta Conquerors applying a no-nonsense approach to dominate Buxton United 5-0 in their quarterfinal to send the East Coast boys packing from the tournament. Eon Alleyne and Anthony Abrams scored a brace each, while Jermin Junior netted a solitary goal in the night’s opening rout.
Grove Hi-Tech will play Fruta Conquerors tonight at the same Leonora Track and Field facility, football pitch in the feature and highly anticipated semifinal match of the double header at 21:00hrs, while GDF will play Milerock at 18:00hrs in the first semifinal.
The winners of this tournament will receive a grand cash prize of $2million, while the losing finalist will receive $1million, third place $500,000 and fourth $250,000.
As part of the grand finale that will be played on January 1st 2018, Jamaican Dancehall artiste, Popcaan will cap off the event with a live performance.
Oct 15, 2018Eagles Basketball Club and Pacesetters played both matches contested on Saturday at the Burnham hard court in the Second and First Division of the Rainforest Water/Malta Supreme/Georgetown Amateur...
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