By Duncan Saul
Santos Football Club Sunday night schooled the University of Guyana Football team in the finer points of football which resulted in an 11-0 thrashing while Northern Rangers FC needled a resilient Blueberry Hill FC 2-1 in latest fixtures of the GFA/Banks Beer Knockout Cup at the GCC ground Bourda.
In the curtain raiser, Northern Rangers FC showed tenacity and grit to overcome a tough Blueberry Hill unit.
Playing under soppy conditions, both teams started at a frenetic pace trying to seize the early initiative. Northern Rangers clearly got the better of the early exchanges and almost broke the deadlock only to be denied by the woodwork.
Dictating possession, the Kitty outfit started to find their range and rhythm with Blueberry Hill clearly on the back foot and defending desperately so as not to concede a goal.
Northern Rangers received a free kick but were further denied by a brilliant save from the Blueberry Hill custodian which brought the large and vocal crowd to its feet.
The open nature of the game continued as both teams attacked feverishly. Blueberry Hill almost broke the stalemate on the stroke of lemon time during a goal mouth scramble, only for the danger to be cleared off the line. Countless missed opportunities and physical play were the products of a clearly saturated playing area rendering passing a strenuous task.
The second half continued in the same vein, with both teams trying to consolidate their positions. Blueberry Hill finally broke the stalemate through a clever buildup that was calmly finished in the 46th minute by Shemroy Dover.
Their recent success was short lived as a brief moment of mental indiscretion led to Northern Rangers scoring the all important equalizer through a brilliant solo run from Jermin Scott in the 57th minute.
Tactics went out the window as both teams attacked relentlessly, chasing the game winner. Guilty of missing goal scoring opportunities as the elements started to take its physical tool on the players, Northern Rangers finally found the game winner through a brilliant finish from Sherwin Vincent in the 77th minute that sent the large crowd into loud celebrations.
Rampaging runs and deep lobbed passes highlighted the urgency of both teams as the game began to near its conclusion.
Blueberry Hill was held firmly at bay by the determined Northern Rangers defence and the final whistle finally came sending a wave of mixed emotions though both camps of players and spectators.
In the feature event Santos FC clearly showed they will be a threat come kick off time when they dismantled a helpless University of Guyana team.
They were led by a five goal burst from crafty striker Michael Pedro and a double from the evergreen Gerald Whittington.
The first half started brightly for the Santos outfit as they recorded the fastest goal in tournament history through Gerald Whittington’s strike in the opening minute of proceedings.
The opening goal proved to be the catalyst for the onslaught that ensued as a further five goals were scored in the half compliments of the wily William Europe 25th, Whittington 28th, Pedro 17th and 32nd and Jermin Bamfield 44th to further illustrate the gap in footballing acumen between the teams.
Dictating proceedings with their confident and controlled passing, the UG team simply could not solve the conundrum that was the Santos unit who looked ominous at every moment and capable of adding to their already sizable lead at any instant.
The second half continued in the same pattern with Santos FC looking to build on their lead and UGFC trying to find some form of attacking input.
Clearly lacking ingenuity and constantly dispossessed by the robust backline of the Santos unit, the downward spiral continued for the boys from Turkeyen, illustrating the gulf between the two teams clearly as a further five goals were added through Michael Pedro in the 48th, 56th and 75th, Leron Charles 70th and the combative Jermin Frazier 51st.
The carnage mercifully was finally over as the final whistle sounded bringing an end to a totally abject and inept performance by the UGFC team.
Action continues with a double header today at the GCC ground Bourda with Guyana Defence Force FC on Black Pearl FC in the opening game at 6pm followed by Guyana Police Force FC tackling Net Rockers FC in the feature event at 8 pm.