Defending champion Sparta Boss will engage Leopold Street while Gold is Money tackles Bent Street in titanic semi-final showdowns today at the Albouystown Tarmac, following quarterfinal wins on Thursday in the Guinness ‘Greatest of the Streets’ Georgetown Zone.
In what can be described, as the biggest semifinal matchups in the event’s nine-year history, Sparta Boss, secured the dream clash with Leopold Street after overcoming Tiger Bay 1-0 at the National Cultural Centre Tarmac, Mandela Avenue.
The mammoth viewership that descended on the venue was treated to a thrilling clash that was decided unexpectedly by a ninth minute own goal that silenced the gathering.
The question now on everyone’s mind is can Leopold Street, winner of the 2012 edition, stop Sparta Boss (2015, 2016 champion) from reaching an historic three-consecutive Georgetown finals?
The answer to that query will be revealed today.
Leopold Street sent a stern warning to their opponents that they will not be intimidated, after edging the dangerous California Square 1-0.
It was the first goal conceded by the East Ruimveldt unit in the event. One man demolition crew, Omallo Williams, settled the bruising affair, netting what proved to the winner in the 12th minute, with a powerful left foot dagger, after dribbling his marker on the left side.
As brilliant as Leopold Street was, the outcome could have been different had California Square converted from the penalty mark in the final 10 seconds of the match.
Meanwhile, traditional giant and pride of the West Ruimveldt community, Gold is Money, needled newcomers Rising Stars by a 1-0 score line.
It was a bridge too far for the Kitty-based unit as the 2011 losing finalist earned their semi-final berth via a Randolph Wagner 17th minute conversion, in the processing setting up a date with Bent Street. The star-studded Bent Street outfit boasting Daniel Wilson, Solomon Austin and Andrew Murray Jr., broke the hearts of Future Stars in the marquee matchup of the night, prevailing by a 2-0 margin.
A ‘Guinness Goal’ (GG)-(a goal scored in the final three minutes of the match is counted as two) in the 18th minute, proved to be the undoing of the highly rated Future Stars side, with the skillful John Waldron placing his effort past final defender Kevin Cummings.
According to a brief comment from event coordinator Rawle Welch, “What is most certain is that the two matches in the main section are high quality matchups and fans are assured of end to end action as the four teams fight to determine who will make the final set for December 16, at Demerara Park.
“The champs, who enjoy a love and hate relationship with the fans have shown that they are not going down without a fight and any team harbouring ambitions of dethroning them will have to be ready and well equipped to stop their march to another title,” he added.
Despite several walkover victories being recorded in the Guinness Plate Championship, GTI Ballers battles North East La Penitence at 21:00hrs and Kingston opposes Upsetters from 21:30hrs in the semi-final stage.
Prior to the commencement of the respective semi-finals, two exhibition matches will occur to set the mood for the night’s proceedings.
Winner of the overall event will walk-away with $500,000 and the championship trophy along with automatic qualification for the National Playoffs.
The runner-up, third and fourth placed finishers will receive $250,000, $200,000 and $100,000 respectively.
The winner of the Guinness Plate Championship will pocket $60,000. The event is also sponsored by Colours Boutique.
Meanwhile, the organizers of the event, Three Peat Promotions, commended the entire Albouystown community for the discipline exuded whenever the tourney is staged in the environ.
They also praised the work of the Guyana Police Force (GPF), whose support has been exemplary and invaluable throughout the championship.