Northern Rangers, Western Tigers book semi-final spots in Corona Invitational Tournament
By Michelangelo Jacobus
The consistent Northern Rangers booked their semi-final spot in the Corona Invitational Football Tournament by beating Camptown FC in the first quarter-final on Friday night at the Georgetown Football Club ground.
Despite winning on penalty kicks, the Rangers deserved their semi-final berth, as they were consistently the better team throughout the match, and the score-line did no justice to their performance.
As expected, the Rangers played aggressive, attacking football, and were rewarded in the 19th minute when the dependable Sunil Logan found the back of the net to give his team a 1-0 lead.
However, before the first half was finished, Camptown managed to equalize through Richie Richard in the 41st minute, to leave the game hanging in the balance.
In the second half, it was more of the same, with the Rangers continuing their relentless attack, but being unfortunate not to add to the score, as their forwards spurned quite a few chances.
The two sides were level when the referee blew the whistle to signal the end of normal time, and both sides went into extra time showing signs of fatigue, and failed to capitalize on defensive lapses on both sides of the pitch.
With penalty kicks needed to decide a winner, Northern Rangers had first go, and their first penalty kicker had his shot saved.
Up stepped the first Camptown player, who duly converted. However Rangers’ next three kickers were on target, while Camptown’s next two kickers also converted.
A twist would come when the latter’s fourth kick was saved. With the pressure mounting, the Rangers scored to leave the penalty count at 4-3 in their favour. The following kick-taker wilted under the pressure and sent the ball flying over the crossbar to spark celebrations from the Rangers.
In the second quarter-final, Western Tigers mauled a young Pele FC team 6-0 to go one step closer to winning the inaugural title.
The unbeaten Tigers had the majority of possession, and created chance after chance. The score line could have been more embarrassing, but for errant positioning of the forwards.
Dellon Kells was the first to get on the score sheet when he bundled in the ball from a corner in the 9th minute. Jamal Pedro would be next in the 30th, while Darren Benjamin made it 3-0 just two minutes later.
Jarel Tyrell also notched up a goal in the 55th minute, while Benjamin had his second in the 72nd minute.
Mark Gittens completed the rout in the 75th minute with Western Tigers’ sixth goal. The remaining two quarter-finals will be played tonight at the same venue, with the first match between Santos FC and Police FC at 19:00hrs, while home team GFC take on Riddim Squad at 21:00hrs.