A raucous National Cultural Centre tarmac viewership on Tuesday played host to two tense penalty shoot-out wins as North Ruimveldt and Festival City Warriors sealed their berth in the final of the Guinness of the Streets Georgetown leg.
North Ruimveldt upset tourney favourites Sparta Boss by a 2-1 score line on penalty kicks after normal and extra time ended 0-0 in the feature semi-final matchup.
Festival City Warriors on the other hand, overcame former champs Leopold Street 1-0 following a nil-all score line at the end of the regulation and extra time intervals. With the wins, the two sides will now face off on Sunday, December 13th at the National Park Tarmac in the tourney’s culmination.
Leopold Street and Sparta Boss will now lock horns in the third place playoff. With both teams failing to create any clear chances in the allotted intervals, the penalty shoot-out was then required to settle the outcome between North Ruimveldt and Sparta Boss.
Rickford James was the designated shooter for North Ruimveldt in the first round and he did not disappoint, burying his right-footed effort to the left side of the goal to draw loud praise from the partisan crowd.
Sparta Boss would then clinically respond to level the showdown in the form of Roberto Osbourne, who calmly rolled his attempt down the centre of the goal despite the ‘colourful screams’ from the spectatorship.
North Ruimveldt would then incur the wrath of their mammoth following as Colin Daniels handed the opposition a chance to take the lead, missing their second attempt from the halfway distance narrowly to the left of the goal.
However the East La Penitence-based unit failed to capitalise on the aforesaid opportunity as Jermin Weekes directed his attempt onto the left upright, igniting loud celebrations around the entire venue.
The decibel level would then quickly spike once more as veteran utility man Gerald Gittens made his presence felt, sending North Ruimveldt into the lead with an authoritative finish down the centre of the goal.
With the volume around the venue at a fever pitch amid the chants of ‘miss’ and the pounding of the signboards, Sheldon Shepherd would oblige the gathering as he sent his effort onto the woodwork to seal his side’s exit and ignite the festivities on the playing area.
The large gathering would also prove to be an intimidating quantity in the opening matchup, willing Festival City Warriors into the next round.
Unable to find a winner during the free-flowing normal and extra time periods, Festival City Warriors would get off to the worst possible start in the shoot-out as they missed from the mark in their first attempt.
Stepping to the mark in an attempt to give Leopold Street the lead was Omallo Williams. However the crowd would have the final say, screaming and shouting at the left-footed forward who in turn fired his shot wide to the right of the goal.
Eon Alleyne would then ignite the masses, firing his right-footed attempt to the middle of the net to give Festival City the lead.
The presence of the crowd would be felt once more in Leopold Street’s second attempt, unsettling the usually reliable Okeene Fraser who lashed his right-footed strike into the left upright, sparking further celebrations.
Needing only to score to secure their berth to the finale, Solomon Austin would extend a lifeline to the former title holders as he placed his effort wide of the left post, much to the displeasure of his many supporters.
With the equation a simple one: score and force the matchup into sudden death kicks or miss and be eliminated, Mark Hart surrounded by the outcry of screams against him, would register the latter as he directed his effort wide of the left corner to send his side out of the tourney.
In the earlier minutes of the matchup, Alleyne almost gave his side the early lead in the third minute as his powerfully struck left-sided strike came cannoning off the right post, shifting the goal in the process.
Dwayne Lawrence would then be denied four minutes later by the final defender with a first time effort from the centre of the field, after an initial strike fell into his path as Festival City began to dominate proceedings.
However the momentum of the affair would change in the second half as a right side Fraser effort in the 14th minute came crashing into the right upright.
Fraser would be denied once more from breaking the stalemate in the 20th minute, striking his flat effort into the legs of the final defender from the centre of the field.
Nonetheless, the matchup would end as it began with Festival City bossing the fixture as the final defender through an outstretched leg, denied an Alleyne strike from the centre of the field in the 32nd minute.
In the earlier exhibition fixtures, Warriors defeated Oasis Taxi 2-0 while GT Masters blanked Banks DIH Limited 3-0. Lyken Funeral Home would then bury the Media 2-0 while Future Stars Barbershop and Guinness Bar battled to a 2-2 stalemate.