SANTOS FC’s U-20 team proved that the future of their club is looking bright as they eased past Dynamic FC 3-1 yesterday in the final of the Inaugural Guyana Football Federation (GFF)/KFC National U-20 Independence tournament at the GFF National Training Centre, Providence.
Meanwhile, pre-tournament favourites, Fruta Conquerors FC, had to settle for third place as they thrashed Botofago FC 6-2 in that play-off earlier in the day.
Santos’ Orin Moore had an eventful final as he opened proceedings with a goal after just six minutes but would be shown a red card in the 90th minute of the game; however, after Moore’s sixth-minute opener, Dynamic FC’s Julius Hamilton equalized in the 12th minute but a double-strike either side of half-time ensured that Santos had a comfortable 3-1 cushion.
The exciting Ronaldo Rodrigues struck in the 45th minute to hand Santos a 2-1 lead heading into the half-time break and the talismanic Stephen Reynolds struck soon after the whistle was blown to signal the start of the half, the ball hitting the back of the net in the 46th minute.
There would be no more goals but when the whistle blew at full-time, Santos had more than earned the title of the best U-20 team in Guyana after a tough road to the final.
Earlier, Fruta Conquerors FC dispatched Botofago FC 6-2; the former still smarting from their semi-final loss to Santos, were all business from the first whistle but it was Botofago who struck first through the boot of Tyrell Lewis in the 30th minute.
Ravon Bayley would draw Fruta level just five minutes later but an unfortunate Own Goal (OG) from Botofago’s Nergal McBean in added time just before the break sent Fruta 2-1 up.
In the second half, Ryan Hackett struck in the 57th minute to make it 3-1 for Fruta but Shane Haynes replied almost immediately (58th minute) to haul one back. Thereafter, it was all one-way traffic as first, Nicholas McArthur struck in the 84th minute before Leon Richardson (86th minute) and Wayne Baker (88th minute) struck in quick succession to put the game beyond doubt.
For their heroics, Santos captured $500,000, a trophy and medals while Dynamic FC pocketed $300,000, a trophy and medals.
Fruta Conquerors FC claimed $200,000, a trophy and medals for their third-place finish and Botofago received a trophy and medals.