Cougars FC was crowned the Berbice Football Association (BFA) sanctioned J’s Supermarket Golden Arrow u20 champion, edging Paradise Invaders 3-2 on penalty kicks in the final Friday.
Staged at the All Saints Ground, New Amsterdam (NA) in front of a sizeable crowd, the East Coast Berbice unit edged their counterparts from the West Coast, scoring three of their allotted five kicks while restricting their opponents to two conversions to secure the title after regulation time ended 2-2.
Cougars walked away with the championship trophy and the first place medals while Paradise Invaders received the second place trophy.
Prior to the dramatic ending, the contest was played under favorable conditions except for a brief shower before the commencement of the penalty shoot-out.
Paradise got off to the perfect start in the encounter, as Shaqueel Small found the back of the net in the sixth minute. The score remained unchanged heading into the halftime interval of the 80 minute showdown.
Cougars eventually equalized in the 43rd minute, as Xavier Johnson etched his name on the scorer’s sheet with a strike into the right side of the net.
The East Berbice outfit then took the lead for the first time, with Reagan Reis lashing his effort into the back of the net in the 57th minute.
However Cougars lead would prove to be short-lived, as Ntini August rifled home an effort from inside the box two minutes onward, setting the fixture on its path for the eventual climatic conclusion.
Meanwhile, in the third place playoff, NA United made light work of Hopetown United by a 4-0 score line, compliments of a four goal blitz in the second half.
Oren Glen, Steven Rigby, Quinn Hazel and Jamal Butts were on target in the 40th, 46th, 60th and 74th minute respectively.
With the win, NA United walked away with the third place trophy. On the individual side of the presentation, Paradise Invaders swept the awards.
Shaqueel DeHarte copped the award for Highest Goal-Scorer with four goals, while his teammate Aubrey Joseph was adjudged the Most Valuable Player (MVP).