Two intriguing games unravelled at the Georgetown Football Club (GFC) Ground last night with Pele and Sunburst Camptown Football clubs recording wins to reach the quarterfinal round of the 21st Kashif and Shanghai Football Tournament.
In the opening encounter Sunburst Camptown squeezed past Bartica’s Liquid Gold 2 -1 while Pele won a hard-fought match 3-0 against the Fruta Conquerors in the main feature.
It was a nightmare for Pele for the majority of the first half when they were unable to keep the marauding Conquerors strikers from bombarding their goal from the opening whistle.
Conquerors exploited the weak left flank with numerous counterattacks and unsettled the Pele custodian at
every opportunity. Fortunately, Pele’s wealth of experience prevented the rampant Conquerors side from drawing blood even when the defenders where beaten all ends up.
Conquerors commanded the match in every aspect especially ball possession while Pele struggled to find a shot on goal even with national players Gregory ‘Jackie Chan’ Richardson, Sheldon Holder and Devon Millington playing forward.
Resolute defending made the Pele strikers weary in their efforts to go through. Pele had a few good plays that got them near goal but could not capitalize on any of the chances because they failed to find the final touch. The game took an unexpected turn when Millington was fouled in the 18-yard box and Pele was awarded a penalty kick. The kick was successfully taken by Shawn ‘Bubbly’ Beveney which put Pele up by one goal in the 44th minute.
Upon resumption, the game continued down the same lane as before with Conquerors once again stepping up the pace in search of the equaliser. However, they found themselves two goals down when Richardson executed a terrific pass that drew the goalkeeper forward and found the boot of Millington who easily patted the ball into the back of the net in the 62nd minute. That goal brought some relief to Pele and they began playing a more comfortable game. Some bit of team organisation was displayed and plays and opportunities began coming in their favour.
Conquerors’ fighting spirit was still not weakened as they kept attacking to get back in the two-possession game. Richardson, though, continued to impress as the Pele captain with beautiful displays of unselfish football that caused a lot of trouble with the opposition’s defense. Millington was able to score again when Richardson assisted with a lovely pass which allowed him to blast the ball in the back of the net from at the top of the 18-yard box with two minutes remaining on the clock. Earlier in the night, Camptown played good football to record a victory against the ever-improving Liquid Gold team.
They contested a see-saw battle that had most of the football being played in midfield and as a result neither team was able to score in the first 45 minutes.
Camptown managed to draw first blood when they were reward a penalty which was duly converted by Rishawn Sandiford in the 62nd minute. The opposition turned up the heat and had a few good runs not long after and was finally successful in the 66th minute compliments of Pedro Neto.
A free kick taken by Camptown’s Nigel ‘Powers’ Codrington in the 83rd minute just 10 yards outside the 18-yard box on the right flank was the game decider as the shot made the ball creep between the goalkeeper and the right post to make it into the back of the net.
Tomorrow the competition moves to Linden when the Mackenzie Sports Complex where the two Linden teams, Netrockers and Milerock, go head-to-head in the curtain raiser then Caribbean United faces Linden’s Bakewell Topp XX in the feature match.