A 10-man Georgetown Football Club (GFC) overcame Den Amstel 2-1 in a dramatic penalty shoot-out after normal timed ended 2-2 when the 25th edition of the Kashif and Shanghai Football tournament began on Friday.
Played at the Demerara Cricket Club (DCC) ground in Queenstown, the Bourda-based unit would survive the extra-time interval to force the matchup into its dramatic end after Dem Amstel failed to exploit their numerical advantage.
GFC played the entire first half of extra-time with nine men after two players inclusive of the goal-keeper suffered injuries. At that time, the Bourda unit had no remaining substitutions.
They would eventually end the second period with 10 men as the goal-keeper returned from the sidelines for an on-field role. Converted midfielder Dennis Edwards was placed between the uprights in his absence.
GFC’s Keron Solomon was asked to take first strike from the mark and he did not disappoint as he calmly converted to the left corner. Den Amstel would then fall behind the eight-ball as Delon Lanferman was denied in their first attempt by the legs of Edwards.
Given an opportunity to press home their advantage, the Bourda side would fail to seize the chance as Delon Cadogan fired his effort onto the crossbar. The opportunity would now fall to the West Demerara side to level the score. However, they too would fail to hit the mark as the score remained 1-0 in GFC’s favor. Another miss would highlight GFC’s showing in the third round as Eon Smith’s shot was saved by custodian Ryan Hunte to his left.
Den Amstel would restore parity to proceedings in their third attempt as Hunte slotted past his opposite number Edwards into the top left corner.
It would seem like the momentum in the fixture had changed sides as GFC’s captain Gregory Denny fired their fourth attempt wide of the left corner. Presented with a chance to take the lead, Den Amstel would once again fail to capitalize as Edwards denied Travis Hilliman diving to his left.
Edwards would then step up and bury their fifth and final attempt past Hunte to give them the lead. Needing to score to force the match into sudden death kicks, Jamaal Harvey would see his effort denied by Edwards low to his right, igniting celebrations on the field and sidelines.
With the win, GFC will now await the winner of the Alpha United and Agricola Red Triangle fixture. Prior to the tense conclusion, GFC stole the early lead in the second minute through a Kurd Johnson strike into the lower left hand corner from within the area.
Den Amstel would quickly fire back in the 16th minute as Lanferman scored, slotting his effort down the centre of the net, after collecting a flat left sided Harvey cross within the middle of the box.
The Bourda outfit would retake the lead in the 38th minute as Johnson sealed his second of the night, rifling his right footed strike into the lower left hand corner from the top of the 18 yard area.
However the West Demerara giant would force the matchup into extra time as Harvey netted in sublime fashion, thumping his right footed volley down the middle of the goal from within the box, after a botched clearance from a left sided corner kick fell into his path.
In the tournament opener, Riddim Squad defeated New Amsterdam United 2-0 compliments of extra time goals from Reshawn Sandiford and Rolex Smith in the 96th and 113th minutes respectively.
With the win, Riddim Squad will now faceoff with the winner of the Western Tigers and Hi-Stars fixture. Winner of the event will receive the championship trophy and $2,000,000 while the runners-up will collect $1,000,000 and the respective title.
The third and fourth placed teams will receive $500,000 and $250,000 respectively with the corresponding accolade. Action in the tourney is slated to continue on Monday at the Mackenzie Sports Club ground in Linden with a doubleheader.
Ann’s Grove will faceoff with Winners Connection in the feature contest at 20:30hrs while Western Tigers and Hi-Stars will do battle from 18:30hrs in the opening matchup.