Slingerz FC and Western Tigers will contest the finale of the Mayor’s Cup Knockout tourney following semi-final wins over Pele and Fruta Conquerors respectively on Wednesday at the Georgetown Football Club (GFC) ground, Bourda.
The Vergenoegen side defeated Pele 5-4 on penalty kicks after normal and extra time finished 1-1. Dexroy Adams scored for the winners in the 83rd minute while Konata Manning netted for the losers in the 35th minute.
Western Tigers on the other hand, came from behind to defeat Fruta Conquerors 2-1. On target in the win were cousins Michael Pedro and Randolph Wagner in the 25th and 80th minutes respectively. Giving the losers the early lead was Keith Fletcher in the first minute.
The two sides will now meet on Sunday at the same venue in the finale while the two losers will contest the third place playoff.
With the scores locked at 1-1, the lottery that is known as penalty kicks was required to find a victor. Tasked with taking first strike from the spot, Manning would bury his effort clinically into the roof to breathe calm into the large viewership.
Captain Colin Nelson would then level the score for Slingerz albeit nervously, placing his effort into the lower left corner.
The Georgetown unit would then fall behind in the second round as captain Shemroy Arthur lashed his right-footed effort into the car park located on North Road, much to groans of their following.
Slingerz would quickly capitalise on Arthur’s failure as Joshua Browne buried his effort into the left corner. The West Demerara unit would then maintain their lead in the third round as both sides scored in the form of Pele’s Omallo Williams and Slingerz Dwayne Lawrence.
It would then become 4-3 in the fourth round as Andrew Bishop scored for Pele while Clive Nobrega netted for the Vergenoegen outfit.
Needing to score in their fifth and final attempt to stay alive in the contest, Pele’s Jumaine Somerset would make no mistake from the distance as he buried his effort into the top right-hand corner.
With the world of expectation on his shoulders and the crowd barking contrasting instructions, Devon Millington would fire his team into the finale, lashing their final attempt into the lower left corner. In the earlier exchanges, Pele seized the initial lead through a penalty kick conversion, following a contentious call by the official who initially signalled for a cornerkick after a challenge within the area before changing his decision.
Tasked with taking the sport-kick, Manning calmly converted into the top left corner to ensure his side went into the half-time interval leading.
Williams almost extended Pele’s advantage in the 63rd minute, curling a left-footed dagger into the left upright from outside the centre of the penalty box. With the minutes ticking away and struggling to break down Pele’s defensive tactics, Slingerz would level proceedings as Adams made his presence felt, flicking his strike into the left corner after collecting a right-sided cross within the six-yard box.
Forced into extra time to try and resolve the outcome, Solomon Austin almost pushed the Slingerz into the lead in the 93rd minute through a header from the centre of the area which came crashing into the crossbar, after collecting a flicked-on pass from a right-sided cornerkick.
The woodwork would then come to the rescue of the West Demerara side in the 104th minute as a powerful Somerset header from within the six-yard box, cannoned into the crossbar, much to the disbelief of the viewership.
The opening matchup of the night saw Fruta Conquerors taking the early lead in the very first minute through a Keith Fletcher finish into the back of the net, after latching onto a Jamal Gibbs right-sided cross within the area. However, the West Ruimveldt side would level matters in the 25th minute as Michael Pedro netted, placing his effort into the lower left corner after being in a one-on-one situation within the box, following a missed clearance of a lobbed pass by the defender.
Custodian Derick Carter would then deny the Tucville side from retaking the lead in the 57th minute as a Travis Thornhill’s point-blank effort was parried over the crossbar, after the forward received a right-sided cross within the penalty box.
Western Tigers would then make Conquerors pay for their earlier miss in the 80th minute as Randolph Wagner scored from the penalty mark into the lower left corner, following a clumsy challenge within the area.
The winner of the event will receive $1,000,000 and the championship trophy while the runner-up will pocket $300,000 and the respective title. The third and fourth-positioned teams will walk away with $200,000 and $100,000 respectively and the corresponding accolade.
On the individual side, the tourney top scorer will receive a three-piece living room suite from AH&L Kissoon while trophies will be awarded to the most valuable player and best goalkeeper.