The rampant Leopold Street led by tourney top shot Okeene Fraser opposes emerging force Future Stars while heavyweight Back Circle battles giant-killer Ol Skool Ballers in the Guinness ‘Cage’ semifinal round today at the National Gymnasium, Mandela Avenue.
Although both contests are expected to be thrilling affairs, the Leopold Street and Future Stars clash at 23:00hrs pits an established contender against an emergent power, in what is projected to a neutral’s dream.
Many pundits have questioned whether any team can stop the high scoring Leopold Street unit, following their 4-1 destruction of Mocha in the quarterfinal stage. That query will be answered when the dust settles.
However, the offensive numbers point to an uphill task for the Future Stars unit despite their excellent rearguard record [only one goal conceded].
Leopold Street has been in rampant form throughout the campaign, evident by an eye watering and event leading 12 goals scored in five matches.
`Captain Fantastic’ Fraser has singlehandedly dismantled teams with seven goals, while brothers Omallo and Orandel Williams also pose threats with two goals each.
If there is one area of concern for the free-scoring unit, it is their lack of defensive caution, highlighted by the six goals conceded.
This is the area Future Stars will aim to exploit despite their five goal output.
Keiron Solomon and Jermaine Beckles has scored two goals each, while Jamal Cozier has netted once for a talented roster that also comprises Akeemo Anthony, Lennox Cort, Jermaine Junior, Kevin Cummings and Jermaine Beckles.
Meanwhile, the opening clash at 22:00hrs is reminiscent of a David versus Goliath pairing, as underdogs Ol Skool Ballers aim to upset Back Circle.
The Albouystown-based unit possess an impressive list of victims, following wins over Sparta Boss, Albouystown-A, Broad Street and Albouystown-B.
Rather surprisingly, the unlikely semi-finalist can be considered the event’s most balanced team based on their statistics.
Joel McGarrell, their leading scorer with five out of the 10 recorded goals, marshals a dangerous trident that consists of Captain Roy Cassou [three goals] and Darrell Quallis [two goals].
On the defensive end, Ol Skool Ballers are the holder of the event’s best rearguard, with only two goals shipped in.
On the other side, their opponent, Back Circle needs no introduction, as they carry the flag consistently of the large East Ruimveldt community.
Their path to the semi-final round featured a come from behind penalty kick quarterfinal victory over fellow stalwart Gold is Money, the most notable team from the West Ruimveldt district.
Offensively, Back Circle is more than a match for their impending foe, with nine goals registered.
In team that feature Andy Duke and Jamal Adams, the trio of Runnel Gordon, Selwyn Williams and Stephan McLean has shouldered the scoring responsibility with four, three and two goals apiece.
From the defensive perspective, Back Circle has conceded an unwanted five times, a statistic that will aim to improve against their high scoring opponent.
Fans and pundits can anticipate two pulsating matches. Prior to the commencement at the semifinal round, four exhibition matches will kick-off the proceedings from 20:00hrs.
The resulting victor of the historic event will receive $400,000 and the championship trophy. The runner-up will pocket $200,000 and the respective trophy.
Meanwhile, the third and fourth placed finishers will collect $100,000 and $50,000 respective and a trophy. On the individual side, the Most Valuable Player (MVP) will receive a gold chain from YK Investments and Pawn Shop and the respective accolade from Trophy Stall Bourda.
The complete list of the event sponsors are Star Party Rentals, Faye Joseph, Claude Geddes Recreational Sports Club, National Sports Commission, Windjammer International Hotel & Cuisine, E-Networks, Woodpecker Trophies & Sport, Y.K Investments & Pawn Shop, Henry Chase, Jai Signs, Trophy Stall, the Bike Shop and John Fernandes Ltd.
Guinness Cage Semi-final-Fixtures-Today (Tuesday September 12th)
Home Away Time
Back Circle Ol Skool Ballers 22:00hrs
Future Stars Leopold Street 23:00hrs