Pele Football Club downed BK Western Tigers 3-0 Sunday night to cart off the $1,000,000 prize when the inaugural Guyana Telephone and Telegraph (GT&T) Company Fastball Tournament concluded at the National Stadium, Providence while the Trophy Stall Allstars won the female version of the tournament.
Western Tigers received $500,000 for their efforts while Trophy Stall Allstars received $100,000 for their defeated of Lethem Females who received $50,000.
Just before the start of the final, Prime Minister Samuel Hinds, Chief Executive Officer of GT&T Yog Mahadeo along with president of the Guyana Football Federation (GFF) Colin Klass wished the players well in their endeavors to become first time champions.
In the 30-minute game which is divided into two 15 minute halves, Pele FC snuck into the final by virtue of their goalkeeper, Shawn Johnson’s heroics.
Johnson saved a penalty kick after regulation time and extra time saw the semi-final match against Bakewell Topp XX ending 2-2. in the other semifinal Western Tigers defeated Adam’s Rockers 4-2.
The final saw a lot of back and forth play in the opening minutes of the game by both teams as they continually tried to attack each other’s defense before Marvin Joseph netted a 14-minute blue ball goal from a well constructed attack from the left flank to put Pele up 2-0 going into the half time break.
The blue ball is inserted into the game within the 12 minute mark for the remaining three minutes of each half and once scored with, counts as two goals instead of one.
Immediately into the second half Pele carried over their momentum of scoring late in the first half as Stellon David scored in the 16th minute that saw Pele eventually ending the game 3-0 in their favor.
“It’s a very happy moment to know that we are the first winners of the tournament, we played great football and I just want to say thanks to GT&T for putting on the tournament that will encourage the youngsters to come out and play football,” Travis Grant, captain of the Pele FC told Stabroek Sport after the game.
In the female final the action in the opening minutes was a bit more tentative as the ladies seemingly searched for fluidity in their play.
However, Ronette Cort capitalized on a defensive lapse by the Lethem females to convert an eight minute goal as Trophy Stall started to find some rhythm in their offensive attack.
Charmaine Wade then tapped in a 12-minute goal after receiving a pass from the right wing that left Lethem’s goalkeeper out of position.
One of the new rules of the first time event which sees a team gaining a six second penalty strike after the opposition fouls them five times, allowed Lethem to equalize as Faette Wenlesliaus netted the penalty with the blue ball in the 13th minute just before the close of the first half.
Andrea Lashley then sealed the deal for Trophy Stall with a goal in the 20th minute that saw the final score at 3-2.
“We are very excited about the win we did a lot of training and made a lot of scarifies and it paid off tonight, so we are just enjoying the moment,” Shennel Daniels, captain of the Trophy Stall Allstars told Stabroek Sport after the final whistle.
At the presentation ceremony Shawn Johnson of Pele FC received the Most Valuable Player award while Nichola Leacock from Trophy Stall Allstars received the award on the female side of things.