A Devon Millington header in the 90th+1 minute created history for Slingerz FC as they clinched the League Genesis title of the Guyana Football Federation (GFF) Stag Beer Elite League, downing Alpha United 3-2 in the finale on Sunday.
With the score locked 2-2 at the Leonora Sports Facility at the end of full-time, the dapper attacker rose high within the centre of the box to power his header past custodian Richie Richards following a left sided Vurlon Mills cross, sending the near capacity crowd into a frenzy.
Due to the win, Slingerz FC added the League Genesis title to their growing trophy cabinet along with the $4 million first prize. Alpha United claimed the second place trophy and $2 million prize.
It was a finale befitting the end of an inaugural event with several dignitaries inclusive of Minister of State Joseph Harmon, GFF President Wayne Forde, Vice-Presidents Bruce Lovell, Rawlston Adams, and Thandi McCallister as well as Courts Marketing Manager Pernel Cummings meeting the teams prior to the kickoff.
With the venue unofficially accepted as the home of Slingerz FC, the partisan crowd was almost stunned in the third minute as Alpha’s Delon Lanferman was denied by the outstretched leg of a defender, after striking his effort towards the empty goal following a goal-keeping blunder.
Alpha was made to pay for their failure to convert the opportunity as Julian Wade scored one minute later with a header into the left corner, sparking wild celebrations in the stands and on the field.
While the finish must be applauded, the entire goal was fashioned from Mills, who skipped past his marker on the right side of the field before lobbing the ball over another onrushing defender within the right of the box and laying off for the waiting Wade within the left of the box to finish.
The Vergenoegen unit nearly doubled their lead in the 18th minute as Millington volleyed his effort straight at the keeper from within the centre of the box after diving into a cross from the left side of the field.
On the back-foot since conceding, Alpha United snatched the equaliser in a fortuitous manner as captain Daniel Wilson scored, stunning the partisan mass.
Racing onto a loose ball within the right of the box, Wilson calmly slotted his effort into the lower left corner following miscommunication between the final defender and goal-keeper due to pressure from Lanferman.
Lanferman could have given Alpha United the lead in the 39th minute as he raced away from the backline to latch onto a lobbed through pass, only to curl his effort from within the left of the box, wide of the right hand corner.
Unlike the first period, the second started poorly for Slingerz as they surrendered the lead two minutes into the action with Wilson netting his second, placing his effort into the lower left hand corner from within the right side of the box.
The Georgetown unit was presented with a great chance to make it 3-1 in the 59th minute as a cheeky back-pass from Lanferman found the onrushing Kithson Bain within the right of the box, only for the Grenadian forward to rifle his effort wide of the lower right corner.
On the other side, the West Demerara unit was denied from restoring parity to proceedings in the 62nd minute as a curling Colin Nelson freekick from 24 yards out on the left side, was tipped over the crossbar by custodian Richards.
Following a period of sustained offensive pressure, the large gathering was given a reason to celebrate as Slingerz snatched the equaliser in the 74th minute compliments of Wade.
Similar to their opening goal, the service was provided by Mills who delivered a right-sided corner kick into the path of Wade, who rose above his marker to direct his powerful header past Richards, setting up the fixture for its eventual climatic end.
In the earlier third place matchup, Pele defeated Fruta Conquerors by a 1-0 score line.