Millington’s clutch goal lands Slingerz FC

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CHAMPIONS! Slingerz FC’s head coach Joseph ‘Bill’ Wilson receiving the winner’s trophy from STAG Beer Brand Manager Lyndon Henry.

– 4M and STAG Elite Trophy
– Pele FC 1 – 0 Fruta Conquerors to finish third

By Rawle Toney
WHAT happens when the two biggest football clubs in Guyana square off for $4M; the answer? You will have probably one of the best matches ever seen locally.

Julian Wade (left) and Devon Millington
Julian Wade (left) and Devon Millington

On Sunday, Devon Millington turned out to be the night’s hero, when he headed home the winning goal for Slingerz FC in the 90+1 minute, to hand the ‘West Side giants’ a 3 – 2 win over rivals Alpha United to be crowned the STAG Elite League (Genesis) Champion.

The capacity crowd at the Leonora Stadium went in a craze after Millington climbed high to score the game winner after receiving a cross from Vurlon Mills with scores tied at 2 – 2.

Before the kickoff between the two juggernauts of Guyana’s football, Minister of State Joseph Harmon joined President Wayne Forde, other executive members of the Guyana Football Federation (GFF) and the STAG Elite League sponsors in meeting the players.

Alpha United’s captain Dwight Peters (#9) could only watch as Millington and his teammates celebrate his match-winning goal (Samuel Maughn photos).
Alpha United’s captain Dwight Peters (#9) could only watch as Millington and his teammates celebrate his match-winning goal (Samuel Maughn photos).

Not since their 5 – 0 win in March, 2014 has Alpha United defeated Slingerz FC. Their two previous meetings in the STAG Elite League saw a scoreless game in the first encounter while the second ended 1 – 0 in favour of Slingerz FC.

With 28 points after their 14 games played, Slingerz FC topped the eight-team table while Alpha finished in third with 26 points; one point behind second place Pele FC but six points ahead of Fruta Conquerors.

The results after the completion of the preliminary round saw Slingerz FC taking on Fruta Conquerors and Alpha United facing Pele FC in the semi-final.

After 90+ minutes of play in the two matches, Slingerz won 2 – 0 and Alpha United got the better of Pele 3 – 1 to set-up day’s dream final.

GOAL! Julian Wade (3rd from left) scores for Slingerz FC in the 4th minute against Alpha United.
GOAL! Julian Wade (3rd from left) scores for Slingerz FC in the 4th minute against Alpha United.

In the final, the ‘West Side’ was welcomed to the ‘Vurlon Mills show’. The dapper attacking midfield player showed off his versatility and agility when he, just like the in the video games, flicked the ball over the heads of three rushing defenders and then found Dominican International striker Julian Wade to give Slingerz a 1 – 0 advantage just four minutes into the contest.

Wade’s goal seemed a little unkind to Alpha United given the fact that one minute earlier, Delon Lanferman could’ve scored if it wasn’t for the out-stretched leg of a Slingerz FC defender.

In the 23rd minute, Alpha United’s Daniel Wilson score the first of his two goals on the night to end the first half with Slingerz and Alpha United deadlocked on a goal each.

Meanwhile, Alpha United’s Wilson picked up where he left off and scored almost two minutes into the second stanza as the West Side fans began to worry if their home team would lose the historic final.

Kithson Bain, the Grenadian striker could’ve put the game out of reach for Slingerz FC, had he scored on a ‘one-time’ right footed volley, after collecting a sweet pass from Lanferman.

But, like true champions, Slingerz FC rebounded and got an equalizer from Wade which was his second goal of the night, coming in the 74th minute.

With the fans on the edge of their seats, Millington, a player known for coming up big when it matters most, scored beautiful in stoppage time to hand Slingerz the much deserving win.

While Slingerz FC went home with $4M, Alpha United had to settle for second place prize of $2M. Pele FC settled for third place and $1M following their 1 – 0 win over Fruta Conquerors ($500,000), thanks to a goal from Omallo Williams.