Sparta Boss will battle Leopold Street, while Silver Bullets will engage Bent Street tomorrow evening in the inaugural Magnum Mash Futsal Championship semi-finals, following quarter-final wins on Wednesday at the National Gymnasium, Mandela Avenue.
Although the large crowd was thrilled at the competitive nature of the matches, contentious refereeing dominated the evening’s proceedings, with questionable decisions specifically impacting the Leopold Street and Gold is Money encounter.
Oddly, this inept level of officiating ensued despite the Guyana Football Federation (GFF) staging a Futsal Referees ‘Refresher’ Course five days earlier, in partnership with the Petra Organization. The aforementioned forum did not feature any qualified Futsal instructor.
With the score line deadlocked 1-1 at the end of regulation and extra time, penalty kicks were then required to settle the outcome. The controversy started immediately, as Leopold Street’s Okeene Fraser, the first penalty kicker, was awarded a re-kick, despite intentionally stopping during his run-up to strike the ball and failing to convert.
This is contrary to the laws of the game. Fraser’s second attempt from the distance produced a similar result, as he was denied by goalkeeper Troy Carrington.
Colin Nelson then failed to capitalize for Gold is Money, as Sesi Norville denied his effort, the first of three eventual saves by the Leopold St. custodian.
The second moment of controversy followed immediately, as Leopold’s Tyrese Forde was allowed to take a penalty kick, which he converted, despite having been on the bench when the extra time session was concluded.
This transgression occurred in spite of the presence of three referees on the playing area, to monitor the penalty shootout. Norville then denied Jamal Pedro from the distance to maintain his side’s advantage.
However, Omallo Williams handed Gold is Money a lifeline, firing his effort wide of the lower left corner. Nevertheless, Norville sealed his team’s semi-final berth, when he denied Hubert Pedro, by diving low to his right.
Prior to the penalty shootout, Hubert Pedro had put Gold is Money ahead in the 15th minute. However, Fraser levelled proceedings with a 24th minute strike.
Sparta Boss defeated Ol Skool Ballers in a bruising affair that should have seen a red card being issued to Ballers’Fabian Crawford for kicking the ball deliberately at the head of a prone Eusi Phillips.
The North East La Penitence unit prevailed via a double from Gregory Richardson in the third and 19th minute. On target in the loss was Quason McAulay in the ninth minute.
Meanwhile, Bent Street downed Showstoppers 5-3. Andrew Murray Jr tallied a brace in the 16th and 19th, while Sheldon scored twice in the third and 27th minute.Adding a 24th minute conversion was Solomon Austin.
For Showstoppers, Delroy Ferdinand scored in the 13th and 22nd, while Ricky Ready netted in the 17th minute.
Silver Bullets riddled fellow Linden unit Swag Entertainment 4-2. Damion Williams recorded a hat-trick in the 20th, 33rd and 36th minute, while Jermaine Samuels netted in the 34th minute.
For the loser, Shane Luckie and Clive Nobrega found the back of the net in the 19th and 32nd minute, respectively.
Tomorrow’s Semi-Final fixtures
Bent Street vs Silver Bullets-22:00hrs
Leopold Street vs Sparta Boss-22:45hrs.