Pele edges GFC 2-1 in Elite League opening game

 

Pele Football Club got their Guyana Football Federation (GFF) Stag Beer Elite League campaign off to the perfect start, edging the Georgetown Football Club (GFC) 2-1 in the league opener yesterday at the Leonora Sports Facility in West Demerara.

Deon Alfred and Jumane Somerset netted for the victors on either side of half time in the 38th and 48th minutes. For the Bourda-based unit, the diminutive Lennox Cort netted in the 88th minute.

With the win, Pele walked away with three points while GFC remain without a point.

The opening goal came when Williams, receiving the ball in possibly an offside position on the left side of the field, squared the ball across the box into the path of Alfred who made no mistake as he finished into the back of the net.

Another mistake, this time on their side led to Pele doubling their lead three minutes into the second period as a right sided cornerkick evaded the onrushing custodian

Conceding a right sided cornerkick following a prior Pele attack, GFC custodian Derick Carter misread the trajectory of the eventual cross, missing his attempt at the catch completely, only to allow the onrushing Somerset to direct his headed attempt into the net.

Pele goal scorers Deon Alfred (left) and Jumane Somerset pose for a photo opportunity following their hard-fought win over GFC in the GFF Stag Beer Elite League tournament opener at the Leonora Sports Facility (Orlando Charles photo)
Pele goal scorers Deon Alfred (left) and Jumane Somerset pose for a photo opportunity following their hard-fought win over GFC in the GFF Stag Beer Elite League tournament opener yesterday  at the Leonora Sports Facility (Orlando Charles photo)

Pele then had a great chance to put the game to bed in the 60th minute as Gregory `Jackie Chan’ Richardson, after racing onto a pass from a one-two pass combination, dribbled the onrushing ‘keeper within the box, only to take an extra touch, allowing the floored ‘keeper to get up and deny the effort.

The Bourda based side seemed to be spurred on by the prior moment as Michael Henry almost pulled one back in the 67th minute, forcing a diving save from custodian Devon Charles with a right footed shot from the top of the box, after pouncing on a loose ball.

The woodwork then came to the rescue of the now tiring Pele unit 10 minutes later as a right sided shot from the GFC cannoned off the crossbar from within the right side of the box.

Despite the momentum on GFC’s side, it would be a mistake that would lead to Pele conceding a goal two minutes before the end of the fixture.

Awarded a freekick from 35 yards out in the centre of the field, a tame cross from Cort into the penalty box evaded everyone, and then beat Charles, bouncing onto the right crossbar and into the back of the net.

The inaugural event consists of eight teams from several associations across the country. The event is expected to last the duration of eight months.

Upon the conclusion of the League Genesis round, the top four finishers in terms of points will face off against each other in single knockout format to decide the winner of the round.

The point’s leader will faceoff with the fourth placed side while the second positioned club will tackle the third positioned unit.

Pele’s Travis Grant (centre) on the attack on the left side of the wing while being pursued by several GFC’s players during their GFF Stag Beer Elite League tournament opener at the Leonora Sports Facility. (Orlando Charles photo)
Pele’s Travis Grant (centre) on the attack on the left side of the wing while being pursued by several GFC’s players during their GFF Stag Beer Elite League tournament opener yesterday  at the Leonora Sports Facility. (Orlando Charles photo)

Winner of the League Genesis round will pocket $4,000,000 while the second, third and fourth place teams will collect $2,000,000, $1,000,000 and $500,000 respectively. Similarly, the point’s leader prior to the knockout stage in the League Genesis round will pocket an additional $1,000,000.

The second round which is called the League Finale, will utilize the same method. The eventual season champion will then be crowned when the winner of the League Genesis and League Finale respectively faceoff in a single matchup, with the winner clinching an automatic CFU berth.

If the winner of both rounds is the same team, it will claim an automatic berth to the CFU level. The second berth to the Caribbean level tourney will then be awarded to the team with most accumulated points over the two rounds.

Prior to the commencement of the second fixture, a march past featuring all the competing teams occurred. Up to press time, the score between Alpha United and Slingerz FC was nil-all.

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