The finale of the Guinness of the Streets, East Coast of Demerara tourney will pit maiden finalists Beterverwagting (BV)-A against Melanie-B following semi-final wins over Plaisance-A and Nabaclis respectively on Wednesday.
Witnessed by a large gathering at the Haslington Market Place tarmac, Melanie-B overcame crowd favourite Nabaclis 3-2 while BV-A defeated arch-rivals Plaisance by a 1-0 score line in a hard-fought contest.
BV-A and Melanie-B will now match skills in the grand finale on Saturday at the same locale. With their losses, Nabaclis and Plaisance-A will face off in the slated third place playoff.
In the opening fixture between Melanie-B and Nabaclis, the former would take the lead in the sixth minute through an Amoniki Rodgers effort, stunning the large gathering by evading the onrushing final defender within the centre of the field before finishing into the empty net.
The large gathering would then be given a reason to celebrate as Rickford Morrison netted the tourney’s goal to equalize in the 18th minute.
Racing down the centre of the park following a counterattack, Morrison would skip past the challenge of the onrushing defender, before unleashing a thunderous left-footed strike into the roof of the goal, which flew past the final defender to send the crowd into jubilation.
The joy would then reach a crescendo in the 22nd minute as crowd favourite Nicosi McCloud scored with a well-placed right-footed finish into the back of the net from the left side of the flank., evoking loud screams from the populace.
As quickly as the celebrations commenced they would end compliments of an audacious Rodgers back-heel goal one minute later.
Pouncing on a loose ball just outside the centre of the area, the lanky Rodgers would instinctively back heel his effort into the lower left hand corner, knocking the wind out of Nabaclis sails.
Things would only get worse for Nabaclis as they conceded a needless penalty kick in the 35th minute after picking up their sixth foul. Tasked with taking the spot-kick, Anil Hernandez would calmly convert his right-footed strike down the centre, silencing the large Nabaclis gathering.
A lifeline would then be ended to Nabaclis as Melanie-B conceded a penalty kick following their combined sixth infraction of the period. Asked to take the spot-kick, Akamo Jack would break Nabaclis hearts as he fired his right-footed attempt wide of the mark.
Meanwhile, in the second semi-final, Akin Curry settled the outcome in the favour of the BV-A side compliments of an 18th minute conversion.
Lurking within the left side of the field, the diminutive Curry would fire his first time effort into the back of the net past the final defender, after latching onto a left-sided pass. In the earlier
exhibition fixture, Banks DIH Limited trounced the Media by a 4-1 margin.
The winner of the event will receive $300,000 and the championship trophy while the second place side will collect $150,000 and the runners-up accolade. The third and fourth place finishers will collect $100,000 and $75,000 respectively.
Upon the completion of the event, the top two teams in the tourney will represent the region at the national tournament slated to be hosted later in the year.