League winners the Guyana Defence Force (GDF) failed in their attempt at a perfect season in the Stag Beer Elite League, losing 1-2 to eventual runners-up Fruta Conquerors yesterday at the Camp Ayanganna ground in the season finale.
Although the fixture, which was contested under wet conditions had no significance in the points standings, Fruta Conquerors ended their three-game losing streak against the home side compliments of goals on either side of halftime from Eon Alleyne and Anthony Abrams in the 27th and 67th minute respectively.
For the GDF, who entered the matchup 9-0, tournament top goal scorer Sherwyn Caesar netted in the 47th minute. The GDF ended the event on 27 points earning the first place package of $6,000,000 and the championship trophy whilst the Tucville unit finished on 25 points and will receive the runners-up bundle of $3,000,000 and trophy.
The swampy playing area certainly had an effect on the fixture as passing became a laborious task for both teams in a period featuring very few chances.
It was the visitors that almost drew first blood in the 23rd minute with Solomon Austin directing a powerful header onto the right post following a cross into the area.
Fruta Conquerors were eventually rewarded for their dominance when Alleyne netted four minutes onwards, flicking his header into the back of the net, after collecting a lobbed Pernell Schultz pass from a free kick inside the centre of the box.
Upon the resumption of the second half, the hosts equalized under fortuitous circumstances when Caesar netted his 10th goal of the tournament. The burly forward stabbed home into the roof of the net, after a simple right side cross into the area, slipped through the legs of the goalkeeper, allowing the forward to finish.
Caesar almost recorded his second in the 57th minute but the water denied him his 11th conversion. Latching onto a loose ball following a save by the goalkeeper, Caesar, from the right side of the box, slotted his effort towards the empty net, only to witness the ball being stopped by the water on the surface, allowing the defender to clear the danger.
The unfortunate event came back to haunt the home side as Abrams netted 11 minutes later after dribbling two defenders while racing into the area and finishing into the back of the net.
Alleyne spurned a great chance put the game to bed in the 80th minute, racing onto a through pass inside the centre of the 18-yard area before blasting his effort over the crossbar with only the goalkeeper in his path.
Meanwhile, Victoria Kings finished the championship in third position, edging Monedderlust 2-1. Tichard Joseph and Akeem Holder scored in the 41st and 45th minute respectively.
For the loser, Nicholas Rodney netted in the 47th minute. Victoria Kings ended on 14 points and will receive $2,000,000 and the corresponding accolade while Monedderlust ended in the cellar position on three points.
Buxton United ended the event in fourth place, battling to a 3-3 draw with Topp XX. William Europe bagged a double for Buxton in the 47th and 77th minute while Michael Phyll assisted with a 45th+1 minute effort.
For the eventual fifth placed Lindeners, Selwyn Isaacs and Monty Simon netted in the 71st and 86th minute respectively whilst an own goal in the 32nd minute added to the score line.
Buxton United ended on 13 points and walk away with $1,000,000 and the respective accolade while Topp XX ended on five points.