Defending champs Grove Hi-Tech and West Demerara giants Pouderoyen secured penalty shoot-out wins to clinch their respective quarterfinal berths when the 2nd Annual Stag Beer Super XVI Knockout Football Championships continued Tuesday at the Golden Grove ground.
With the fixtures rescheduled from Sunday due to poor lighting and an incident of petty larceny, the holders defeated the home side 4-2 on penalty kicks after normal and extra time finished 2-2 in front of a sizeable crowd.
Asked to take first strike from the penalty spot, Golden Grove made no mistake as they converted. The visitors replied instantly, finding the back of the net at their first attempt.
The momentum of the fixture changed in the second round as Golden Grove failed to score from the mark. Grove Hi-Tech quickly capitalised on their opponent’s failure, netting to seize a 2-1 advantage.
It went from bad to worse for the host team as they failed once again from the spot-kick in the third round while the East Bank of Demerara unit made no mistake, netting their third attempt to strengthen their position at 3-1.
Needing to score in the fourth round to keep the match alive, Golden Grove successfully converted to narrow the deficit to 3-2. Nevertheless, the holders sealed their berth in the next round, netting their fourth spot-kick to ignite celebrations on the field.
Prior to the fixture’s conclusion, Orson Francois gave Grove Hi-Tech the initial lead in the 20th minute, blasting his effort into the back of the net, after pouncing on a botched clearance following a corner kick.
It took the home side 33 minutes to level the score as Moses Fraser netted under similar circumstances, latching onto a loose ball following a free kick into the penalty area, before blasting past the ‘keeper from within the box.
The sea-saw nature of the contest continued as the holders retook the lead in the 64th minute in the form of Denzil Crawford, who after fighting off the challenge of his marker finished past the advancing ‘keeper from the top of the area.
Nonetheless, there was another twist in the tale as Dexter Archer levelled the score in the 72nd minute to send the fixture into its eventual end. Meanwhile, Pouderoyen FC defeated Soesdyke Falcons by an identical score line after the normal and extra time intervals finished 0-0.
Custodian Sherwin Bernard gave Pouderoyen the best possible start as he denied Soesdyke in their first attempt. Marvin Frank then exploited Soesdyke’s earlier failure as he netted into the right corner.
Soesdyke eventually got on the score sheet, netting in their second attempt. However the West Demerara outfit maintained their advantage in the match as Deron Chilcott scored in the second round, placing his shot to the left of the keeper.
The score then became 3-2 in the third round as both sides converted from the mark. Akin to the opening round of penalty kicks, Bernard made his presence felt as he denied Soesdyke once more at the start of the fourth round.
Needing only a conversion to seal the win, veteran Delon Josiah emphatically sealed the outcome, sending the keeper the wrong way as he finished down the centre, starting the celebrations in the process.
Winner of the tourney will pocket $1,500,000 and the championship trophy while the second, third and fourth place units will receive $500,000, $300,000 and $200,000 respectively and the corresponding accolade.