Former champion Bent Street and emerging force Rio All-Stars will contest the grand finale of the 3rd annual Magnum Tonic Wine Mashramani Futsal Championship on Saturday 22nd following semi-final wins on Saturday last at the National Gymnasium on Mandela Avenue.
Esan Griffith, the tournament coordinator during post-match comments said, “After weeks of action and the participation of 24 teams, the coveted title will now be contested by Bent Street and Rio All-Stars. While the presence of Bent Street in the finale was a probability due to their pre-tournament status, once again the tournament has provided an unexpected outcome, as Rio All-Stars have defied expectations to seal their maiden appearance in a national final. This once again illustrates the competitive and unexpected nature of the tournament, which has provided several unexpected outcomes.”
He further said, “The semi-final rounds exceeded all expectations, the fans were treated to a sublime level of play and the same will be expected of the championship match which pits an established and traditional power against an emerging force and threat. Once again the success of the tournament has hinged directly on the steadfast support of the players, fans and sponsors, whose input is vital for the continued evolution and progress of this platform and brand.”
Bent Street justified their tag as tournament favourite with a 5-3 win over dark horses Kingston. Colin Nelson led the way with a first half double in the third and 18th minute. He was assisted by the trio of William Europe, Sheldon Holden and Adrian Aaron who scored in the 11th, 24th and 26th minutes respectively.
For the loser, Stephon Reynolds once again solidified his status as a star of the future with his third consecutive hat-trick in the knockout round. Reynolds scored in the 10th, 31st and 38th minutes. Meanwhile, Rio All-Stars battled past Leopold Street 3-1.
In what was a rematch from the earlier group round which ended scoreless, Rio All-Stars upset Leopold Street led by a double from Kelsey Benjamin in the 19th and 35th minutes. Adding a goal in the ninth minute was Trayon Bobb. For the loser, Delwyn Fraser found the back of the net in the 25th minute.
The losing finalists will face-off in the third place playoff. Winner of the event will pocket $600,000 and the championship trophy, while the second place side will collect $400,000 and the respective trophy. On the other hand, the third and fourth place unit will receive $200,000 and $100,000 respectively and the corresponding trophy. Among the other sponsors of the event include the National Sports Commission and MVP Sports.
Bent Street-5 vs Kingston-3
Bent St scorers
Colin Nelson-3rd and 18th
Stephon Reynolds-10th, 31st and 38th
Rio All-Stars-3 vs Leopold Street-1
Kelsey Benjamin-19th and 35th
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