Known for his exceptional skill and wizardry, Gregory ‘Jackie Chan’ Richardson rolled back the years with a masterful display to lead Sparta Boss to a resounding 7-3 win over Tiger Bay in the final of the GT Beer/ Keep Your Five Alive futsal tournament which ended on Saturday, at the National Gymnasium.
Richardson, who spearheads one of the most lethal strike-forces in the shorter format, virtually hypnotize Tiger Bay, slamming in a hat-trick of goals in the 23rd, 37th and 39th minutes to send an ominous warning to future opponents that Guyana’s most highly decorated futsal and street kings are back.
He was supported by braces from the tireless Jermin Junor and Eusi Phillips.
However, Tiger Bay’s Orin Moore brought the packed house down as early as the opening minute of play when he uncorked a thunderbolt to beat the Sparta custodian to his right.
Despite being rattled by the early goal, Sparta Boss slowly found their groove with Richardson and Junor coming close to finding the equalizer.
It was Junor, whose quickness and powerful strike on goal finally found its target in the 17th minute, before the overlapping Phillips gave them the lead two minutes later.
To emphasise their dominance, Junor booted in on the stroke of halftime to give his team a two-goal cushion at the break with the large crowd growing increasingly anxious for the restart of what to that point was pulsating action.
The final period provided no ease for Tiger Bay as Sparta Boss attacked with menace and it was the superior skill of Richardson that sunk the hearts of the Bay’s supporters when he fired in from close range three minutes into the period to actually put the game out of reach.
Tiger Bay talisman Deon Alfred, who had been kept quiet all night suddenly found some space to lash home in the 28th minute to make things a little interesting, but Phillips would have none of it as he restored a three-goal advantage shortly after for a 5-2 lead.
With fans exiting the arena, rightly understanding the difficult task Tiger Bay faced to orchestrate a victory Alpha Fletchman’s 36th minute effort provided a flicker of hope which was quickly extinguished by Richardson’s back to back goals shortly before the final whistle sounded.
It meant that following a host of consistent performances, but without a title for some time, Sparta Boss’s dominating performance must have sent shivers down the spines of challengers.
They took home $500,000 and the championship trophy, while Tiger Bay won $250,000 and a trophy.
Richardson was voted the finals Most Valuable Player.
Sparta Boss-7 vs Tiger Bay-3
Gregory Richardson-23rd, 37th and 39th
Jermin Junior-17th and 20th
Eusi Phillips-19th and 29th
Tiger Bay Scorers
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