GFF/Pele Alumni Frank Watson U-15…
The stage is set to crown the nation’s best Under-15 team when the Guyana Football Federation (GFF) Pele Alumni Frank Watson Under-15 tournament comes to a close in a matter of days.
Before a champion is crowned, however, there will be a four-way play-off between the best of the best teams, a category which Riverview FC recently entered over the weekend.
The Anna Regina Community Centre Ground was alive with activity as three teams gathered to compete for the final spot in the Frank Watson Under-15 nationwide play-off. Those teams were Atkinson Brothers out of Region One, Dartmouth Dominators from Essequibo Coast and Rising Stars FC out of Bartica.
Playing in front of an electric crowd, the young men from Atkinson Brothers and Dartmouth Dominators were the first to take the playing field. Travis Smith from Atkinson Brothers opened the scoring with a strike into the back of the net in the 10th minute. The boys from Atkinson managed to hold on to the lead with tight defence, but could not hold up as Dartmouth’s Javin Boston pierced the goal in the 37th minute.
With the pendulum poised to swing either team’s way, Atkinson made sure it swung in their favour, playing both defence and attack. They were eventually rewarded in the 64th minute with a goal from Ray Benjamin, which eventually became the winning one.
The second game of the day finished with a similar scorecard, but this time around, Atkinson Brothers were the ones on the losing side. Ian Gomes opened the scoring for the Rising Stars outfit in the ninth minute and thanks to great defence by his team, the half almost went without another goal. Travis Smith struck his second goal of the day in the 45th minute, just before the whistle went.
With the scores levelled, both sides fought hard for the advantage and it finally went to Rising Stars with a goal off the boots of Shawn Williams in the 68th minute, sealing the Bartica Club’s win.
Going into the final game, Rising Stars were aware that a victory would win them a spot in the coveted play-off this weekend. As such, the team upped their game against Dartmouth, but their opponents did the same, which made for an exhilarating game. Regulation time expired with the scores deadlocked, plunging the contest into penalties. But kicks from the penalty mark did not bring a resolution, as both teams connected with four and missed one. Sudden death kicks were the next stop and Rising Stars managed to edge out their opponents for the win.
Rising Stars FC will now join Rupununi Football Association’s Tabatinga FC, Georgetown Football Association’s Santos FC and West Demerara Football Association’s FC Eagles in a final four play-off for the championship.
The matches will be hosted on Saturday, February 16 at the GFF’s National Training Centre, Providence.