Buxton United completed its dream run of the 23rd Kashif and Shanghai Football Tournament on New Year’s Day by out gunning Amelia’s Ward United in a penalty shootout to clinch the winner’s trophy and the $4M first prize.
After both teams missed one of their first five attempts, the Buxtonian marksmen coolly hit their target on the next two sudden death shots.
Amelia’s Ward nailed their first shot but Javin Crawford’s low strike hit the post to spark frenzied celebrations among Buxton’s players and their fans at the Providence National Stadium Tuesday night.
After Crawford missed the $4M shot, some of the 3000 or so patrons ran onto the field to congratulate their heroes who etched Buxton’s name on the champion’s trophy for the first time in the history of the long standing tournament.
Odel Allicock had saved Buxton’s Les Charles Critchlow’s second penalty to give his Linden side the early advantage in the shootout, but Buxton’s goalkeeper, Jason Cromwell saved a weak Oswald Benjamin effort before Crawford saw his penalty shot hit the post.
Some of the Amelia’s Ward United’s players sat dejectedly after the heart-breaking loss but pocketing the $1M second place prize and reaching the finals, should perhaps appease their anguish.
The wildly entertaining match had finished nil-nil after extra time after both team’s defences and custodians were brilliant at their tasks.
Buxton’s victory capped a remarkable spell for the East Coast side which played in their first final in any tournament. Buxton’s captain, national forward, Dwain Jacobs was also adjudged the tournament’s MVP and drove away with a Toyota Allex, compliments of Beharry Automotive Limited.
The coach of the tournament, who will win a motorcycle, was not announced but Buxton’s coach, Herbert McPherson, is probably the top candidate to ride off with the prize.
On the road to the finals, Buxton United trounced Winners Connection three-one, knocked out 2009/2010 champions, Western Tigers, one-nil on Boxing Day and needled the star studded favourites, Alpha United one-nil last Saturday.
Meanwhile, in the third place playoff match, two-time winner, Alpha United defeated Pele, the 2008/2009 winner and four-time second place finishers, three-one to claim the $750,000 third prize.
A double by the tournament’s leading goal scorer, Dwight Peters and a strike by guest player, Grenada’s star forward, Kithson Bain, completed Alpha United’s victory.
Peters scored seven goals in the tournament, a hat-trick and two doubles.
National forward, Gregory ‘Jackie Chan’ Richardson, who scored six goals in the tournament, netted Pele’s lone goal on the stroke of half time.
His side carted off the fourth place prize of $500,000.
In attendance were Minister of Sport, Dr. Frank Anthony, Prime Minister, Samuel Hinds and other high ranking officials.
Lisa Punch sang the National Anthem.
After the matches, fans were entertained by Reggae Dancehall artistes, David `Mavado’ Brooks and Mortimer `Natural Black’ Softleigh.