Barbados Defence Force Sports Programme held out with nine men to stun defending champions Weymouth Wales 2-0 when the best of three Barbados Football Association Premier League Championship playoff continued last night at the Wildey, St. Michael AstroTurf.
Last Thursday BDFSP coached by Asquith Howell came from behind to equalise the opening game 2-2. Then they returned yesterday to win 2-0 against the reigning two-time kings Wales and marched a step closer to lifting the premier league title.
Former three-time champions and zone two winners BDFSP with 52 points wasted no time registering a goal as early as the second minute of play compliments captain and senior national player Raheim Sargeant.
Another goal came in the latter stages of the exchange, BDFSP striker T’Shane Lorde during the four minutes of added time scored in the 90+1 minute to give the soldiers a 2-0 lead heading into the third and decisive championship match on Thursday.
As expected, the game had a high level of intensity and even though BDFSP held the 1-0 advantage, they at times lacked the discipline to keep their composure, which placed them at a numerical disadvantage.
Akeem Hill in the 33rd minute was first to be red-carded by referee Jamar Springer for striking Wales forward Arantees Lawrence in the face.
Fellow BDFSP teammate Renaldo Trim was also sent packing in the dying stages of the game [90+4] which cost the soldiers two important men.
With BDFSP being at a numerical disadvantage, one would have expected Wales to dominate and take full advantage of the situation. But instead, the Wales side coached by Thomas Jordan missed several sitters.
One such instance was the first half when the zone one winners had a golden opportunity to equalise off a set piece. Talented attacking midfielder Romario Harewood placed the first touch to captain Hadan Holligan who squared the ball inside the area to Arantees Lawrence who missed the golden opportunity 20-minutes into the match.
When the second half commenced, BDFSP did everything in their power to protect the 1-0 lead with some outstanding work in the defensive third.
Wales won themselves a freekick taken just top of the 18-yard box by dangerman Romario Harewood who delivered a touch to Ramar Miller whose shot was brilliantly denied by Barbados and BDFSP custodian Kishmar Primus.
Primus had a good game and was outstanding with the gloves which showed why he’s rated as one of the top goalkeepers at the moment in Barbados. The strongly built Primus scored high marks yesterday when he came up with some beautiful saves whenever put to the test.
But Wales had only themselves to blame for not capitalising when they had the chance and credit to BDFSP for doing what was necessary to come out on top in the second championship playoff.
There was one match played to determine the overall third-place team for the 2019 league season and University of the West Indies Blackbirds took bragging rights with a 5-1 flogging of Empire Club.
Finishing second in their respective zones, UWI in zone one and Empire in zone two, it was all a one-sided affair for the Cave Hill team who played exceptionally well to come from behind and destroy the opposition.
Empire through Jabarry ‘Papi’ Chandler took an early lead in the 18th minute when UWI goalkeeper Liam Brathwaite failed to clutch the ball which resulted in the opening goal.
UWI, however, responded superbly with a brace in the 24th and 62nd minute through Barbados Under-20 midfielder Niall Reid-Stephen. Alvin Chapman [52nd], Tremaine Cobham [66th] and Terryson Mullin [85th] also scored a goal each.
Empire goalkeeper Oba Tucker also suffered from nosebleed during the second half when he pursued a ball scored by Tremaine Cobham in the 66th minute at which stage UWI led 4-1.
Tucker had to seek medical attention and referee Gillian Martindale was forced to pause the game for a few minutes.
As the game progressed, the night belonged to UWI as they dominated Empire in every aspect of play to finish third overall and second in zone one with 36 points. UWI played 22 matches, won ten, lost and drew six games each with a goal difference of 30, scoring 60 and conceding 30.
UWI finished behind defending champions Wales with 41 points in group one having played 22 matches, won 12, drew and lost five each with a goal difference of 33 with 52 for and 19 against.
Empire on the other hand finished the season with 49 points in zone two having played 22 matches, won 15, drew four, lost three with a goal difference of 21 with 44 goals for and 23 against.
They finished second to BDFSP with 52 points from 22 matches. They won 16, drew four, lost two with a goal difference of 58 with 75 for and 17 against.