By Ras Wadada
THE Guyana Defence Force (GDF) continued from where they left off last year as they notched up their 6th win from as many outings in Guyana’s top flight football for the 2016-17 season.When action resumed, after close to 3 months last Sunday, at the Tucville Community ground in the GFF/STAG Elite League Leaders competition, the ‘yet to be beaten’ Army secured a come-from-behind 2-1 victory against home side Fruta Conquerors in the feature game of the double-header to restart the second half of season two.
The number two side, boosted by several imports through the transfer window, looked the aggressors in the opening minutes with left winger Eon Alleyne making several forays down the flank.
On the opposite side, Pernel Schultz made inroads as well while former Alpha United’s Solomon Austin looked solid in defence.
A direct free kick from about 35 metres out was exquisitely executed by former Pele midfielder Konata Manning to give Conquerors the lead after 25 minutes of play. The perfectly measured right-booter curled over the wall and into the keeper’s right ‘V’ and it turned out to be the only moment of celebration.
The Army came out in the second period and immediately took control of the match as they levelled the score after just two minutes when midfielder Delroy Ferdinand produced a beauty from just outside the area on the attacking right.
In collecting the Olvis Mitchell pass with his back to the goal, Ferdinand’s first touch with his right boot lined up the ball for him to turn towards the goal and in one motion fired an inside left-booter, curling low to the far post and into the ‘onion bag’.
Second half substitute, Jeffrey Perreira sealed the win 13 minutes after coming on in the 65th minute and again former youth national Mitchell was the provider.
Mitchell’s perfectly weighed and measured pass from the right side into the area was well read and timely met by Perreira in the box while the Conquerors’ defence appealed for off-side.
Perreira’s powerfully struck low right-booter cannoned off the far post and into the net. It was the burly Perreira’s 3rd strike in two meetings against Conquerors, following up on his brace in last December’s 3-1 win at Buxton.
The soldiers now await the winner of Thursday’s semi-final clash between Devcon Victoria Kings and Fruta Conquerors who have a second opportunity to contest the grand final set for next Sunday and worth $2.2M.
The Kings in a rather ordinary performance overcame Buxton United in last Sunday’s opening game by a 1-0 margin, thanks to an Aubrey Gibson direct free-kick after 76 minutes.
Gibson who came on as a substitute in the 61st minute scored from just outside the box with an inside left-footed shot that curled around the inside of the wall and eluded the attempted grasp by goalkeeper Darren Marques, just to his left and above his shoulder.
The poor effort by Marques seemed to dent the spirits of the Buxtonians and the Kings held on for their second win in as many meetings at the Elite level.
It was also a debut win for coach Denzil Thompson although many of the Kings’ fans appeared upset with his team selection and strongly voiced their disapproval on the sidelines.