St Stephen’s downed defending champs Stella Maris 3-1 on penalty kicks yesterday in a rematch of last year’s finale to clinch the 2nd Smalta/Ministry of Public Health Girls U-11 Football Championship.
With the score locked at 0-0 following normal and extra time, penalty kicks were required to decide the outcome in front of a sizable gathering at the Carifesta Sports Complex. Given the opportunity to take first strike, St Stephen’s made no mistake as they scored.
The holders quickly fell behind in the shoot-out as St Stephen’s’ custodian Odelli Straughn denied their shot at the goal. St Stephen’s then increased their lead in their second attempt, capitalising on the failure of the holders to score.
Sensing the title slipping from their grasp, the Woolford Avenue unit pulled within one of the score, with Ludesha Reynolds scoring in their second attempt.
The aforementioned conversion for Stella Maris was only a brief respite as St Stephen’s made it 3-1. Needing to score to keep their hopes alive, Stella Maris relinquished their title as they missed from the mark.
With the win, St Stephen’s walked away with the championship trophy and $100,000 in kind towards a school project. On the other hand, Stella Maris received the runners-up accolade and $50,000 in kind towards a school project.
Prior to the match, National Association for Women’s Football Secretary Andrea Hall and Petra Co-Director and tourney coordinator Troy Mendonca met the teams.
Meanwhile, North Georgetown secured the third position after downing South Ruimveldt 3-1 on penalty kicks after normal time finished 1-1. Prior to the penalty-shoot-out, Shaquanna Drakes scored for North Georgetown in the 33rd minute while Lenisa John equalised three minutes later. For their showing, North Georgetown received the corresponding trophy and $30,000 in kind towards a school project while South Ruimveldt pocketed the fourth place trophy and $20,000 in kind towards a school project. The latter was also adjudged the most disciplined team.
In the individual section of the awards, Straughn of St Stephen’s was adjudged the most valuable player and best goal-keeper of the event while Shamiya Daniels of North Georgetown and Lenisa John of South Ruimveldt shared the highest goal-scorer accolade with six conversions.
In other results, West Ruimveldt secured the fifth position after squeaking past St Pius by a 1-0 margin. Gabriel McGarrell separated the two sides with a 10th minute conversion.
On the other hand, Enterprise secured the seventh position after downing archrival Tucville 3-1 on penalty kicks following a 0-0 score line at the end of normal and extra time.
Meanwhile, St Angela’s claimed the ninth position after defeating F.E. Pollard 1-0. Nikasi netted the lone goal in the 16th minute.
Similarly, St Margaret’s walked away with the 11th position after defeating St Agnes 3-1 on penalty kicks following scoreless normal and extra time intervals. In the 13th-14th positional fixture, St Ambrose won via walkover.
Closing remarks during the presentation ceremony were made by Ansa McAL Brand Manager Anjeta Hinds, National Sports Commission Board member Lavern Fraser-Thomas, NAWF Secretary Hall and Tourney Coordinator Mendonca.
The other sponsors of the event included Sterling Products and the Guyana Football Federation (GFF).