The Ministry of Education Ground on Carifesta Avenue in Georgetown was the preferred place to be on Saturday evening, as four secondary school teams competed for supremacy in the KFC Goodwill Tournament, with the Shiva Boys College of Trinidad and Tobago carting off the inaugural championship trophy.
The finals of this three-day competition saw Annai Secondary taking on Annandale Secondary, before Christianburg-Wismar Secondary battled Shiva Boys Hindu College of Trinidad and Tobago. There could not be a better script to the climax of this final night, as Annai and Shiva Boys each needed to win in order to take home
the championship trophy.
In the first encounter, a spirited Annai side played valiantly, proving they are indeed one of the best school teams in the country. Having stumbled in their first game against Shiva Boys, Annai had their soccer skills on full display in this encounter against Annandale. Mindful that goal difference would be an important factor, Annai’s improved attacking style discomfited Annandale from the get-go.
The Annandale goalkeeper should have scooped up the ball, but he squandered the collection twice, resulting in Annai’s first two goals. Highest goal scorer of the tournament, Annai’s Niazz Mohammed, then netted a goal of his own in the 28th minute, to push the score to 3-0.
With an already convincing lead by half time, Annai rubbed salt in Annandale’s wounds with another three goals; scored respectively by the prolific Niazz Mohammed, Junior Rodrigues and Naidison Daniels. Thus Annai humbled Annandale with an emphatic 6-nil victory.
Having done their part, Annai’s fate now rested in Christianburg-Wismar pulling off a win over Shiva Boys to give Annai the championship ahead of the visiting Trinidadians.
Christianburg-Wismar were well on their way to accomplishing this mission, matching pace and skills with the visitors, being often in control of the ball, and having countless near misses at goal. Shiva Boys had now met their match in the tournament, and had to fight hard to hold off the determined Lindeners.
The first goal eventually came from Stevon Thomas of Shiva Boys in the 39th
minute, but this only provoked the Lindeners’ determination to equalise. This, unfortunately, did not materialise until the second half, when Tyrese Lewis found the back of the Shiva Boys net in the 60th minute. And just when it seemed that the contest would be plunged into penalties, the Shiva Boys struck luck in the 81st minute when they were awarded a penalty.
Gesiah Bishop made no mistake with the shot, which eventually won the game for his team and broke the hearts of both Christianburg-Wismar and Annai Secondary.
The individual presentations saw Annai’s Leston Smith being adjudged the best goalkeeper, and his teammate Niazz Mohammed being recognized as the highest goal-scorer. Shiva Boys’ Nikel Rawlings was awarded the tournament’s MVP.