The National Gymnasium on Mandela Avenue will come alive tonight when Sparta Boss battles Sophia and defending champions Bent Street tackles Back Circle in titanic semi-final showdowns in the second Petra Organization Futsal Championship.
The 2015 edition losing finalist, the polarizing Sparta Boss outfit and the dangerous Sophia unit will bring the curtain down on the night’s festivities when they face-off at 23:15hrs.
Both teams charted a similar course to the semi-final with Sparta Boss overcoming North East La Penitence 2-1 in the always physical ‘East La Penitence’ derby and Sophia upsetting Tucville 3-2.
In terms of their respective numbers, Sparta has scored 15 times in their five matches at a rate of three goals per match. Devon Millington is the event’s top marksman with nine goals.
Gregory Richardson has assisted with three goals while Sheldon Shepherd and Cleon Forester have each netted once. An own goal has provided the other conversion.
For Sophia, the offensive numbers are marginally better and spread across the entire roster, highlighting the severe threat posed at anytime.
Seventeen goals at an average of 3.4 per contest have been scored thus far for the perennial contenders led by primary threat Dwayne Lowe with four goals and Akeem Jaikissoon and his three goal haul.
Desmond Cottam, Shem Arthur and Sheik Kamal have provided a creative spark with two goals apiece while Orlando Jordan, Simon Emmanuel and Joshua Kamal have scored once each.
Defensively, Sparta possess a significant edge with only six concessions to date while Sophia’s rearguard has been breached an unwanted 10 times.
The opening semi-final at 22:15hrs will pit titlist Bent Street against crowd favourite and youthful side Back Circle in a clash of the undefeated teams.
The holders earned their final four berth following a cagey 2-0 win over Gold is Money. On the other hand, Back Circle downed Broad Street Bullies 2-1 in an absolute classic.
Statistically, Bent Street has been rampant throughout the majority of the event and their 23 goals at a rate of 4.6 per fixture is the best in the tournament.
Each player on the roster has scored at least once.
The experienced duo of Colin Nelson and Konata Manning have four goals each while Joshua Browne and Okeene Fraser have three goals each and Anthony Abrams and William Europe two goals each.
The other goal scorers with one conversion each are Wendell St. Hill, Dwight Peters, Sheldon Profit, Kelsey Benjamin and Sheldon Holder.
For Back Circle, 16 goals have been fashioned. Stephon McLean has provided the clinical touch in front of the target with five goals.
Capable support has been provided by Selwyn Williams and Akeemo Anthony with three goals each and Sylvester Richardson and Curtez Kellman with two goals each whilst Keron Joshua has netted once.
From the defensive perspective, Back Circle’s defence has been breached six times, which is marginally superior to Bent Street whose defence has allowed seven goals.
Prior to the commencement of the aforesaid fixtures, three exhibition matches will occur from 20:15hrs. The highlight of the exhibition matches could easily be the game of night, when the Media Team lock horns with Republic Bank.
The other contests include Guyana Water Incorporated (GWI) battling Guyana Power and Light (GPL), Pretty Posse Taxi engaging Green Ice Taxi and Customs opposing Bent Street Youngsters.
Winner of the tournament will collect $400,000 and the championship trophy while the runner-up will pocket $200,000 and the corresponding accolade.
The third and fourth place finishers will collect $100,000 and $50,000 respectively and the respective accolade. Individual prizes of Most Valuable Player, Best Goalkeeper and Highest Goal Scorer will also be awarded. The event concludes on April 15th.