Weymouth Wales edged Paradise 1-0 to book a spot in the Barbados Football Association’s Capelli SuperCup semifinals last night at the Wildey, St Michael AstroTurf.
Despite Paradise captain Armando “Sugar” Lashley scoring as early as the second minute in the pouring rain, which was ruled offside by referee Jamar Springer, the Dover, Christ Church boys had a hard time putting the ball into the back of the net for the rest of the game.
As both teams felt each other out in the fast-paced encounter and appeared to be playing on the counter-attack, Wales were given the first strike at goal when they were awarded a penalty kick after Paradise’s custodian Jason “Barbers” Boxhill took down Walton Burrowes inside the penalty area in the 26th minute.
While Boxhill tried to convince Springer he had not touched the player, Springer signalled the play and the goalie called for VAR.
Nevertheless, Boxhill, after moving the ball from in front of Romario “Pete Pete” Harewood, positioned himself in the nets. When Springer blew his whistle, Harewood went left and so did Boxhill, denying Wales their first opportunity on goal much to the delight of Paradise who all rushed to embrace their goalkeeper.
But in the 39th minute, the well-oiled Wales machine struck when Kemar Headley took the corner kick and the unmarked Rico Graham chipped in the set-piece past an unsuspecting Boxhill, on his left side to take the lead just before half time.
As the second half rolled around, Paradise upped their game and kept knocking at the nets but to no avail. Lashley, who was clearly starved of ball possession in the first half, and the first 30 minutes of the second half, had quite a number of goal- scoring opportunities.
One such opportunity, which he squandered, occurred after Headley fouled super-sub Dario “Ears” Harewood and Paradise were awarded a free-kick. Lashley stepped up to the ball, but instead of taking the kick, he passed to Elijah Downey and the shot ended up over the crossbars, but too close for Wales’ goalie Omari Eastmond who had a moment of panic.
The game intensified, but many fouls were dished out and the game became a bit scrappy with Paradise desperately seeking to get their names on the scorecard. Even after Mario Williams was hurt, he returned to the pitch heavily bandaged and went the distance.
Lashley again took a free-kick after Ackeel Applewhaite was fouled in the box, but his kick was too high and went up and over the crossbars once again.
Despite their inability to get the ball into the back of the net, Boxhill was defiant all night and ensured that Wales was kept at bay for the remainder of play.
Even with Paradise creating more goal-scoring opportunities, Wales dominated throughout. And even in a last bid to get at least one goal in added time, Wales shut Paradise out to send them back to the south of the island empty-handed.
In the opening encounter between UWI Blackbirds and Empire, the latter team faced disappointment when UWI pulled off a 1-0 victory to end their Capelli run.
While Empire dominated on possession in the first half of play, there was an apparent lack of goals as there were significant stoppages, and the ball was a bit slow as parts of the Turf was still waterlogged from the rains over the last two days.
But it was the Blackbirds who took flight first in the 23rd minute. A long ball played from Alvin Chapman to Kobe Shepherd and over to Shamari Mark, who volleyed from just outside the box to bounce under the crossbars and into the top of the net.
Empire came alive and two minutes later Daniel Calvi floated the ball to Zinio Harris who missed at point-blank range, much to the dismay of the fans in the stadium.
UWI got another shot on goal but Niall Reid-Stephen failed to convert a free kick and instead fouled Omar Primus giving Empire a corner kick, which they too failed to make great use of.
As the second half rolled around, Empire failed to put pressure on UWI even with their substitutions. Another free kick taken was hit low and hard, but the shot was parried by Holder and the rebound sailed over the crossbars adding to Empire’s frustrations.
UWI’s talisman Mario Harte entered the game and he wasted no time playing a long-range shot which had goalie Oba Tucker beaten, but to Empire’s fortune it connected with the upright instead and went wide of its mark.
As the final minutes of the game approached a free kick was awarded to the Mighty Blues after Jabarry “Pappy” Chandler was fouled right at the top of the box in the 87th minute. The kick was lined up and with Harris and Chandler on the ball, the shot was taken by Harris. However, it struck the wall and Holder collected with a dive to deny Empire once again.
In the three minutes of injury time added, Empire tried desperately to get at least a draw which would have taken them to a penalty shootout but to no avail, leaving their fans stunned at the outcome of the game.
With the Capelli quarterfinals ending as they did, Ellerton and UWI have set a date, while BDFSP and Wales will face each other as they continue for a chance at the $50, 000 grand prize. (BFA)